Skooter reporting 10/16/12
has strongly put his support behind a documentary that vilifies America's 40-year war on drugs as a failure, calling policies that imprison massive numbers of drug-users a "charade," meaning a sham in earnest need of a review.
At the Sundance Film Festival, Pitt came into view recently as an executive producer of filmmaker Eugene Jarecki's "The House I Live In," which won the Grand Jury Prize in January. The film opened in nation-wide release in the United States on Friday.
Prior to a Los Angeles screening, Pitt and Jarecki spoke fervently about the "War on Drugs." The war has cost more than $1 trillion and since 1971 it accounted for over 45 million arrests, and which victimizes largely on poor and minority communities, according to the documentary.
The Hollywood actor told Reuters on Friday that the government’s War on Drugs policy was a “charade.” Pitt was quoted as saying, "I know people are suffering because of it. I know I've lived a very privileged life in comparison and I can't stand for it, It's such bad strategy. It makes no sense. It perpetuates itself. You make a bust, you drive up profit, which makes more people want to get into it. To me, there's no question; we have to rethink this policy and we have to rethink it now."
The film "The House I Live In" was shown in more than 20 states and tells stories from numerous walks of life, including Jarecki's African-American nanny, a drug dealer, narcotics officer, inmate, judge, grieving mother, senator and others.
Although the United States accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population, it also shows it has 25 percent of its prison population. Moreover, African Americans, who make up roughly 13 percent of the population and 14 percent of its drug users, account for 56 percent of those locked up for drug crimes.
The film got strong reviews: The Los Angeles Times has this to say about the film - "one of the most important pieces of nonfiction to hit the screen in years." The Hollywood Reporter commented that it was a "potent cry for a drastic rethinking of America's War on Drugs" and that the film "should connect solidly with viewers at a moment when it seems possible to change public attitudes."