Review: The House I Live In, Eugene Jarecki documentary
Eugene Jarecki's eye-opening documentary on America's War on Drugs serves to expose the country's entire criminal justice system, from arrest and sentencing to incarceration.
Per capita, the US keeps the largest prison population in the world, a figure that won't fall while its courts hand out unbelievably harsh sentences to non-dealing drug users. "I think we've got people doing a whole lot of time for not very much crime," says one prison officer, who should know. At the heart of it, inevitably, is race.
Through interviews with police, judges, offenders and – poignantly – a woman who was housekeeper for Jarecki's family, the film establishes how black men dealing drugs on the street are far more likely to be targeted than whites protected by class and money.
Even the disproportionate sentencing for the use of crack as opposed to powder cocaine punishes black more than white. Politicians terrified of seeming soft on crime enable such inequities to continue; meanwhile in poor neighbourhoods selling drugs becomes one of the few viable economies.
It's a bleak watch, this bulletin from the "war" on drugs, not least because it doesn't look like ending any time soon.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
Church of Scientology allegedly sent threatening letters to film distributors and festivals showing damning documentary
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture