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"The House I Live In"

U.S. Documentary

*** ½ (three and a half stars)

The revelation in Eugene Jarecki's gut-punch of a documentary, "The House I Live In," isn't that the War on Drugs isn't working. It's that the War on Drugs is working, but in ways and to ends that are more diabolical than its supporters have ever copped to. Jarecki ("Why We Fight") digs into the history, from Richard Nixon's politically expedient call to crack down on illegal narcotics through the rise of crack cocaine and the demand for mandatory-minimum sentences. He calls upon experts who deliver harsh observations of the unintended effect of the War on Drugs on communities and families – and no interview subject is more damning than writer David Simon ("The Wire"), who argues that the system is designed to incarcerate or destroy America's poor and minority classes. Jarecki also gets personal, interviewing the nanny who raised him, a woman whose family has been ravaged by drugs and the criminal justice system.

— Sean P. Means

"The House I Live In" screens again:

Monday, Jan. 23, 6:45 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas 3, Salt Lake City

Thursday, Jan. 26, Library Center Theatre, Park City

Saturday, Jan. 28, noon, Egyptian Theatre, Park City