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The War on Drugs in The Film The House I Live in by Eugene Jarecki

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The War on Drugs in The Film The House I Live in by Eugene Jarecki Essay

Summary: “The House I Live In”

The war on drugs: fact or fiction? Well, it depends on how you look at it. According to the film, “The House I Live In,”directed by Eugene Jarecki, the war on drugs is an overblown scare tactic that has historically not targeted the United States’ drug problem across an equal demographic. Clear imbalances in drug statistics and misconception grow prominent throughout the film when tracing the backgrounds of people whose lives drugs affected.

In this film, Jarecki finds inspiration from his childhood caretaker, Nannie Jeter, to look into America’s history of drug use and illegalization measures. He gained this itch for knowledge upon asking Nannie Jeter what she believes caused her family struggles and finding her answer to be drugs. Through a series of interviews of professionals and citizen of the United States, Jarecki uncovers a nasty history of hidden, discriminatory drug policies that were aimed at targeting specific racial and ethnic groups. He implements the use of statistics in addition to his use of personal recollection to show the stark inequivalence between the percentage of people using drugs (people from all facets of life) and the people that are imprisoned (often the poor and ethnic minorities.) Because he derives information from a wide range of sources and mediums, he portrays a lack of bias. If he were to only interview a select group of particular people, the impact of his documentary may have fell short, reaching and relating to only a select few. However, he chose to present his stance that could successfully appeal to a wide audience.

Nannie Jeter’s family’s life was made difficult by not only drugs, but also the racist intentions behind them. While drug abuse in the United States is still a prevalent issue, declaring drug use a war created a negative association: racial and ethnic groups suffer targeting based on the false presumption that they are the primary drug abusers. Jarecki’s documentary compels the people of the United States of America to look through the shadows to see what the war on drugs is really about.

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The War on Drugs in the Film the House I Live in by Eugene Jarecki. (2018, November 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from
“The War on Drugs in the Film the House I Live in by Eugene Jarecki.” GradesFixer, 15 Nov. 2018,
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