When I first started watching “The House I Live In,” I thought, “oh, I know all about this.” Now, after watching this fast-paced, compelling documentary on the ‘War on Drugs’, I am humbled, saddened, and ashamed.
Taking a very intelligent, systemic, carefully presented approach to an issue we’re all familiar with, the film continued to take me deeper into the complex ways humans target the Other. The film lays out a human historical narrative, comparing, for example, the Holocaust and the War on Drugs, as “roads to destruction” continually repeated.
The documentarian started asking questions when he had an adult understanding that this War had a direct effect on his beloved housekeeper, ironically named Nanny. He grew up, with her, in New Haven, which is probably the best city in my experience for demonstrating the societal problems we have created and my personal complicity.
I know that these comments may make you want to turn away to some summer fun. I don’t blame you. But if you are a fan of “The Wire,” this film serves as an update, with David Simon as one of the major commentators. I loved and appreciated that harrowing series, and this film goes to the next step, boldly stating what I don’t think any American would want to admit. If you’re willing to go there, as hard as it is, I don’t think you’ll be sorry.