Drug War, Class War

Longtime critics of American drug prohibition may find
themselves squirming uncomfortably in their seats after the first
half-hour of documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s new drug war
critique, The House I Live In. Not because they’ll
disagree with the arguments, but because the first act of this
well-financed snapshot of how the drug war poisons lives (Danny
Glover, Brad Pitt, and other notables kicked in cash) is notably
devoid of arguments.Like HBO producer/writer David Simon—who appears frequently as
the documentary’s conscience—Jarecki has chosen realistic collage
over opinion journalism, hooking viewers with stories that are by
turns heartwrenching and humorous. Only after you find yourself
rooting for drug dealers and even drug-enforcement authorities does
Jarecki start hammering home his political takeaway: that American
drug prohibition is best understood as a war on disfavored ethnic
minorities. The conclusion may be harsh, but so is the status quo
Jarecki is trying to upend. —Matt Welch


Drug War, Class War

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