What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The House I Live In is a documentary about the War on Drugs and the enormous toll it's taken on the United States. The film makes the shocking argument that the War on Drugs has turned into a profitable industry -- i.e., building new prisons and hiring guards and police; it also suggests some parallels between the War on Drugs and elements of the Holocaust. It's heavy stuff, but the tone is thoughtful and proactive, and many activists have begun working to turn things around -- and the movie encourages viewers to join the fight. There's some strong language, with a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Hard drugs are discussed at length and shown, though images of people actually using are only seen fleetingly in photographs and archival footage. The movie's content is impactful enough and responsible enough that older teens could handle it -- and in fact, should be encouraged to see it.
  • Families can talk about The House I Live In's violent and shocking content. How necessary is it for the movie to make its point?
  • Does the movie encourage using or selling drugs in any way? Does it forgive those who do? Is any part of the drug trade glamorized?
  • What can an average person do to help fight against the destructive cycle depicted in the movie?
  • Which of the interviewees in the film best comes across as a positive role model? Why?
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