Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Award-winning US documentarian Steve James tells this captivating story of the only bank indicted following America's 2008 financial meltdown. More

"The Abacus Federal Savings Bank in New York's Chinatown is one of America's smallest banking institutions. Shanghai-born Thomas Sung founded it in 1984 (inspired in part by Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life) to provide his community with loans, a service routinely denied by other banks. Now 80, Thomas runs the company with the help of his three hard-working daughters. In 2010, the bank noticed irregularities in its mortgage books, and reported the matter to authorities. A lengthy legal battle ensued, driven by the New York District Attorney Office, and an eye-opening story of discrimination unfolded inside and outside of the courtroom. As the film suggests, perhaps Abacus wasn't 'too big to fail', but rather, 'small enough to jail'." (Sydney Film Festival)

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2016Rating: Exempt88 minsUSAEnglish, Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles
Documentary
Director:
Steve James ('Hoop Dreams', 'Life Itself', 'Stevie')

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail | Reviews

93%74 reviews

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

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Variety

Variety

The movie wants us to raise our fists and shout, "Yes, that's what happened. And it's an outrage!" Instead, you may feel like raising your hand and asking "Is that really what happened? If so, it's an outrage! Now please show us some evidence."

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Stuff

Stuff

A frightening look at American injustice.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

James recognises that the Sungs’ normalcy is part of what makes Abacus infuriating.

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Little White Lies

Little White Lies

Not without its blind spots, but James locates both familial intimacy and a bigger picture without sentimentalising his subject.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

A modestly gripping real-life legal thriller with an appealing Chinese-American twist.

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