Detroit Film Theatre


ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL

Saturday, July 22, 2017

8:00 PM Detroit Film Theatre

(USA/2017—directed by Steve James)

Documentarian Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) turned his razor-sharp lens toward the 2008 financial crisis and came across a story both startling and sadly inevitable. Though the giant U.S. banks – deemed “too big to fail” – somehow avoided having criminal charges leveled at them in the wake of the financial meltdown, there was one, small, family-owned bank that wasn’t so lucky: Abacus Federal Savings, located in Manhattan’s Chinatown, had the distinction of being the only U.S. bank indicted on criminal mortgage fraud charges. Founded in 1984 by Shanghai-born lawyer Thomas Sung, the family-run Abacus Savings – serving the Chinese immigrant community and other local residents – was forced to defend itself over the course of a complicated five-year legal ordeal. Moving, funny, alarming and absorbing, Abacus offers a whole new look at a nightmare many of us have filed away and forgotten. Freep, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. (90 minutes)

“An exemplary piece of filmmaking.” –Tom Charity, Sight & Sound