CPJ Logo

Medford CPJ's
Recent Films: 

Genetic Roulette

Searching for Steele

The Return of Navajo Boy


Nuclear Savage

Inequality for All

War on Whistle-blowers


The Wobblies

How to Start a Revolution

GASLAND Part II

American Winter

PLAYING FOR CHANGE

The Invisible War

WHITE WATER
BLACK GOLD


The Life & Music 
of Harry Stamper


ATOMIC STATES
OF AMERICA


IN MY LIFETIME

FIVE BROKEN CAMERAS

The Healthcare Movie

Rachel 

The End of Poverty?

Triangle - Remembering
the Fire

Motel Kids of
Orange County


HEIST - Who Stole 
The American Dream



Morristown In Air & Sun 

The Strangest Dream 

 BAM 6.6 

A Really
Inconvenient Truth 


The Iron Wall 

Blood in the Mobile

For Neda 

Israel and Palestine 
presentered by Sam & Ruth Neff

Battle for Marjah 
Anderson, Wonke, Davies
HBO Films 

If You Love this Planet 
Helen Caldicott Presenation
Terre Nash NFB Canada 

 The Welcome 
Kim Shelton, Director
Bill & Kim McMillan - Producers

 The Calling 
Stuart Kershaw 

 Iraq's Secret War Files
BBC Channel 4 

Pete Seda - Terrorism
and Security Abuse   

Wartorn 1861-2010
 Joni Alpert &  Matt ONeil

The Dark Side of
Chocolate (Child
Slavery)
Int'l Labor Rights
Forum 

Daniel Ellsberg:
Most Dangerous 
Man in America  

Project Kashmir
 Independent Lens

Intimidad
David Redmon &
Ashley Sabin

WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN:
DESTRUC
TION  OF HIROSHIMA
AND NAGASAKI
 


Frontline: Behind Taliban Lines 

The Power of Community:
How Cuba Survived Peak Oil 

Frozen Dreams -
ICE  Raid on Portland's
 DelMonte Cannery

Howard Zinn: You Can't  Be 
 Neutral On a   Moving Train

"Health Consequences
of the Iraq War"    

"Immokalee USA"
Georg Koszulinski

PrivateArmies Al Jazeera
"Faultlines"


"Fixer"by Christian Parenti

The Last Truck     
HBO Films

"Rethink Afghanistan" 
by Robert Greenwald    

"Walking It Off:
A Veteran's Chronicle" 
HouseILiveIn


The House I Live In        2012     108 Minutes

No matter how Oregon decides on the issue of decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, this film makes it crystal clear that we have a long, long way to go.  "The House I Live In" supplies the objective evidence of the truth of the assertion by director Jarecki: "Over 40 years, the 'War on Drugs' has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever before." 

A call to national conscience, this activist documentary is persuasively urgent. Directed with heart by Eugene Jarecki, the movie is an insistently personal and political look at the war on drugs and its thousands of casualties, including those serving hard time for minor offenses. It is, Mr. Jarecki asserts — as he sifts through the data, weighs the evidence and checks in with those on both sides of the law — a war that has led to mass incarcerations characterized by profound racial disparities and that has created another front in the civil rights movement.

The title of the documentary isn’t purely metaphoric. “The House I Live In” is, for starters, the name of a song written by Lewis Allan and the blacklisted Earl Robinson (“All races and religions/That’s America to me”), that became a part of the Paul Robeson songbook. Frank Sinatra sang it in a 1945 short film of the same title that is a plea for tolerance written by Albert Maltz, one of the Hollywood 10. Mr. Jarecki uses the Robeson version over the final credits of the documentary, a nod to that singer’s long history of civil rights activism. Touchingly, the song also serves as Mr. Jarecki’s plaintive acknowledgment that his documentary was directly inspired by his lifelong relationship with an African-American woman who worked for his family, Nannie Jeter (her real name).

Ms. Jeter was, Mr. Jarecki says early, “like a second mother” to him when he was growing up. On its face and unexamined, that statement could be a perilous, risible gambit, but Mr. Jarecki navigates skillfully through the complexities of his relationship with Ms. Jeter, partly by immediately addressing his own privilege. She entered his life shortly after he was born, and their worlds overlapped as the decades passed.

“Our families were close, and her children and grandchildren were my playmates growing up,” Mr. Jarecki says, his voice wafting over images of Ms. Jeter and her family closely watching television coverage of the 2008 presidential election. “But as we got older,” Mr. Jarecki continues, “I saw many of them struggling with poverty, joblessness, crime and worse.”

When he asked Ms. Jeter what she thought “had gone wrong,” her answer — drugs — surprised him. Whether Mr. Jarecki was as surprised as he states is immaterial to how he uses this relationship between a white man and his long-term black caretaker to build an argument about drugs in America and, more critically, about race and class. Nothing in the movie, including the data he amasses, the history he excavates and the miles he racks up during his investigation, is as striking as his decision to risk seeming naïve or worse by making himself part of the story. Yet it is precisely his insistence that this is the house that he, too, lives in that helps distinguish this movie, investing it with resonant feeling.

It may be a war that Mr. Jarecki noticed almost by accident, but it’s one he has seized on with characteristic vigor. As he showed in earlier documentaries like “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” and “Why We Fight” (about the military-industrial complex), Mr. Jarecki is fearless about taking on sprawling subjects that could eat up 10 hours on cable and squeezing them into feature-length packages. The war on drugs, which officially stretches back to the Nixon administration, is the kind of large-scale topic that Mr. Jarecki loves digging into, and he does so here effectively, showing and telling with a wealth of rapidly shuffled visual material, including judiciously deployed family photographs and home movies, newsreels, television news reports and the archival like.

Working again with the film editor Paul Frost, Mr. Jarecki smoothly folds these images in with dizzying statistics and a cavalcade of talking-head interviews with a range of sympathetic experts, including Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow.” He also checks in with a psychologist, as well as with historians, legal professionals, prisoner advocates and inmates. Among the most important collaborators he taps for explanatory duties is the journalist turned pop-culture god David Simon, the creator of “The Wire.” Receiving what seems to be more screen time than any interviewee, Mr. Simon makes at once a fine, friendly narrative guide; a restrained voice of moral outrage; and, as the movie builds to its sweeping conclusions, a conspicuous stand-in for Mr. Jarecki.

Those conclusions won’t surprise those who keep up on the war on drugs and debates over mass incarceration. But Mr. Jarecki isn’t a journalist and doesn’t pretend that he’s breaking news; he is instead something of a showman (the choice of Mr. Simon as a voice of reason over a generic graybeard is savvy) as well as a great synthesizer and storyteller whose nonobjective investment in this material is one of his strengths.

It’s easy to take issue with a documentary like “The House I Live In,” which tackles too much in too brief a time and glosses over complexities, yet this is also a model of the ambitious, vitalizing activist work that exists to stir the sleeping to wake.


Thanks to:

Manohla Dargis
NYTimes


 
CPJ  Medford
Presents




 FREE FILM NIGHT 
 

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN

Film Trailer

  Nov 18, Tues, 2014

7:00 PM 
Adams Room
Medford Library
10th & Central

Medford, OR 


Planned and
Potential Future CPJ

Film Showings


 Suggested Upcoming
Film Showings



1.   Schooling the World -- the White Man's Last Burden   2010  (65 Mn) 
2.  American Fugitive - The Truth about   Hassan  2008  (75 Min)
3.  Health Money & Fear  Hochfeld 2011   (90 Mn)
4.  Food, Inc.  2008   (90 Min)
5.  When the Levees Broke - Spike Lee
     (2011) 
6  What a Way to Go 2007   (2 Hrs)
7.  Which Way Home  2009   (80 Min)
8.  La Americana  2008   (65 Min)
9.  Out of Balance -Exxon & Climate 
     2008    (65 Min)
10. The Corporation (3 Parts) 2005 (105
      Min)
11. Under the Hood (World Torture) 
       2008 (2 hrs)
12. The Oath (POV)  2010 (90 Min)
13. Occupation 101 2007    (90 Min)
14  Ground Truth  2006       (72 Min)
15. Where Soldiers Come From  2011 (90
      Mn)
16. Salt of the Earth  1954  B&W (94
       Min)
17. Reclaiming Democracy  2012 (125
       Min)
18. American Fugitive 2008 (75 Min)
19. PsyWar   2010  (99 Min)