Eugene Jarecki is an American author and a dramatic and documentary filmmaker based in New York. His works include Why We Fight, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Reagan, Freakonomics (segment), Quest of the Carib Canoe, Season of the Lifterbees, The House I Live In, and (T)error. Why We Fight and The House I Live In were both winners of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, in 2005 and 2012 respectively.
Jarecki attended Princeton University. After working for some years as a director of stage plays, he turned to film. In 1992, Jarecki's first short subject, Season of the Lifterbees, premiered at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival before winning both a Student Academy Award and the Time Warner Grand Prize at the Aspen Film Festival.
His film The Trials of Henry Kissinger was released theatrically to critical acclaim in 130 US cities. Winner of the 2002 Amnesty International Award, the film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and has been broadcast in over thirty countries. In 2002, Trials was selected to launch the Sundance Channel's DOCday venture as well BBC's digital channel, BBC Four.
His Emmy Award-winning film Reagan debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, before having its HBO television premiere on what would have been the 40th president's 100th birthday.
Jarecki has been a guest on national television programs including The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, Fox & Friends, and Charlie Rose. In 2010, he created the short film Move Your Money, which became a viral sensation, encouraging Americans to move their banking from "too big to fail" banks into smaller community banks and credit unions. To date, an estimated 4 million Americans have moved their money.
Jarecki is also the founder and executive director of The Eisenhower Project, an academic public policy group, dedicated, in the spirit of Dwight D. Eisenhower, to studying the forces that shape American foreign policy. He is a visiting fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies and is the author of The American Way of War (2008), published by Simon & Schuster/Free Press.
Jarecki is the son of Henry Jarecki and Gloria Jarecki. He is brother to fellow filmmaker Andrew Jarecki and finance executive Thomas A. Jarecki. His half-brother Nicholas Jarecki is also a filmmaker.
- Season of the Lifterbees (1993)
- Quest of the Carib Canoe (2000)
- The Opponent (2000)
- The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002)
- Why We Fight (2006)
- Addiction (segment) (2007)
- Freakonomics (2010)
- Reagan (2011)
- The House I Live In (2012)
- The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril (Free Press, 2008)
- Freakonomics (2005)
From BBC Storyville interview about Why We Fight:
- "It really followed on from the experience we had making The Trials of Henry Kissinger. That film came out in about 130 U.S. cities, and in every one I met with audiences and talked about the film. I thought I had made a film about US foreign policy but the audiences seemed to be most interested in talking about Henry Kissinger the man. To me, that felt politically impotent, because the forces that are driving American foreign policy are so much larger than any one man. With the next film I wanted to go further – I didn't want to stop at an easy villain or a simple scapegoat. I wanted to have a much more holistic approach that really took on the whole system."
From Huffington Post on Obama and Afghanistan:
- "While the wisdom of escalation in Afghanistan is, by any historical standard, deeply questionable, Obama's willingness to employ rhetoric where statesmanship and vision are needed is disheartening. One might have hoped that, given the groundswell of support with which he was elected, the President might have felt buoyed to exercise greater resistance to the usual runnings of Washington and the ceaseless repetition of history."