creative research

The House I Live In (2012)

The House I Live In (2012)

108 min  –  Documentary  –  5 October 2012 (USA)
From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America’s criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.
Director: Eugene Jarecki
Writers: Eugene Jarecki, Christopher St John (additional writing)

(From IMDB)

This documentary film was slightly different to the others I’ve watched so far. It was around 40 minutes longer and was very determined to make social change.


  • Jumped between policy makers making the law and waging war on drugs and the counter arguments from those delivering the policies and being affected by them. It toed and froed as such with chapter gaps giving context, eg the Projects is where the drugs are and historically projects only exist because of…
  • Personal journey for filmmaker, he narrated it but he had a nice voice and it was needed to give connection to the central character, Nanny. Was also useful for moving narrative on by critically examining previous chapter before asking next question to set up the next chapter
  • The same characters popped up throughout the film, progressing their point as the narrative moved on – they weren’t just kept in one section or shown one at a time and only once

To consider for my documentary:

  • the inclusion of archive footage
  • what change do I want to affect as a result of my documentary
  • how to transition between chapters
  • can all of my interviewees talk on all the subjects – what common questions do I have – do I want to split them up and progress chapters as subjects or chapters as characters?

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