Home Movies/Out on Digital: July 12
■ The House I Live In
Addictive drugs have destroyed lives and communities, but the War on Drugs may have done even more damage. The House I Live In gets down among police and pushers, both groups rolling their eyes at any mention of a “Drug-Free America.” Since 1981 the War on Drugs has cost a trillion dollars and turned the U.S. into the nation with more prisoners than any other, none of it slowing down the billion-dollar market for illicit drugs. Addiction knows no color lines, but African Americans have been the drug war’s primary targets.
A successful Syrian-Canadian banker (Alexander Siddig) is pulled back to his homeland on the eve of Syria’s civil war when his daughter goes missing on holiday. The many secrets he left behind years before will help as well as hinder his search. Marisa Tomei is superb as his jilted fiancée, and the setting nails the mélange of cosmopolitanism and fear that always marked the Assad regime. The banker finds many odd twists as he reckons with his own past.
■ The Girl
Ashley (Abbie Cornish) is angry and impoverished, in danger of losing her job and the custody of her son. Discovering that her rambling-man dad is making big money sneaking Mexicans into Texas in the back of his semi, she decides to play at smuggling—with disastrous results. Most of her migrants scatter in the dark when the Border Patrol appears, leaving Ashley with a little girl looking for her mother. Selfishness and altruism contend in this immigration drama as Ashley searches for the girl's family and her own self-respect.