Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

2016 | USA | NR | 88 min.


Old Town Playhouse Wed, Jul 26, 2017 3:00 PM
Kirkbride at the Commons Thu, Jul 27, 2017 6:00 PM
Film Info
Section:US Documentary
Release Year:2016
Runtime:88 min.
Production Country:USA
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Steve James
Produced by:Julie Goldman
Mark Mitten
Cinematography:Tom Bergmann
Editing By:David E. Simpson
John Farbrother


After the 2008 financial crisis, only one bank was targeted for mortgage fraud in the US. It wasn’t Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, JP Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac; instead, the Feds targeted a small immigrant-run enterprise called Abacus Federal Savings Bank. After one of the bank’s employees was caught taking bribes, the Manhattan DA’s office accused Abacus of corruption. In this searing documentary, as riveting as any legal thriller, Oscar-nominated director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) unravels the judicial witch hunt that Abacus owner and Chinese immigrant Thomas Sung and his family endured over the next three years. James asks the crucial question: Why did federal investigators target a small, family-run business instead of any of the large corporations responsible for the Great Recession? Amid our current climate of suspected government corruption and regulation rollbacks, this film is a vital reminder of all that is at stake when profits come first, instead of people.

Tom Jolin (Wed)
Emma Guzman (Thu)

Harriet & Clyde McKenzie (Wed)
Dr. Emmaline Weidman & Daniel Kantor (Thu)