Sundance Review: The House I Live In

A documentary on the American war on drugs, The House I Live In is a great premise for a rarely discussed topic. Your basic doc outline (interviews, voiceover, archive footage/photos etc.) the film itself was not much but the tackling of such a layered issue and the eventual conclusions drawn were shocking, stunning and worth muddling through the Ken Burns' style learning experience. I guess the crux of The House I Live In was that a systematic vilifying of drug users in this country has allowed for an instant scapegoat, a pattern taking on the burden of the flaws in our capitalistic American dream, especially along a racial divide. The entire time I was watching it though I kept thinking of this fantastic article I read recently about the legalization of drugs in Portugal, thinking of the stark differences between our own ways of harsh enforcement and the driving force behind them as opposed to the ways other countries manage their drug problems; America focusing on money while other nations focus on the people. As a film The House I Live In wasn't perfect but as it unveiled the hidden agendas of the drug war making me want to become more educated on this clandestine topic that truly shapes our nation for the worse. (Picture of a patriotic parking lot barricade which there are many of out here in traffic ladened Sundance and which I thought was mildly fitting for this post!)



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.