On Friday, the documentary film “The House I live In” was released across USA, and both Brad Pitt and Eugene Jarecki, the director of the film, came down heavily on the U.S. “War on Drugs.” The film, which has been called by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most important pieces of nonfiction to hit the screen in years,” has Brad Pitt on board as executive producer. The film claims the U.S. “War on Drugs” is a charade targeted at keeping poorer sections of the society under handicaps.
The film mentions mind-numbing statistics like, while USA has only 5 percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners; the U.S. “War on Drugs” has cost more than $1 trillion and led to arrests of more than 45 million people since 1971, 56 percent of who are African-Americans. In essence, the film claims, the “War on Drugs” policy is geared towards preying on poor and minority communities from improving their lots.
In a phone interview with Reuters, Brad Pitt said, “It’s a never-ending cycle. But then when you look at it after what we experienced with Katrina – this is Eugene’s point and what he wanted to investigate – it is actually being used to cap a portion of our society and holding them back, shackling them.”
The Hollywood Reporter has described the film as a “potent cry for a drastic rethinking of America’s War on Drugs (which) … should connect solidly with viewers at a moment when it seems possible to change public attitudes.”
Jarecki, the maker of the film, criticized the justice system’s contrasting attitude between the poor and the rich. While bankers who cheated millions of people and made thousands homeless “got a slap on the hand” but on the other hand “A kid right now a block from here is going to have a cop find an ounce of something on his person and he’s going to spend 10 years in jail …” he told Reuters.