Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

2016, Steve James, USA, 88 min.

BUY TICKETS

Show Times

  • Fri, Jun 16th 2:00pm
  • Fri, Jun 16th 8:15pm
  • Sat, Jun 17th 3:00pm
  • Sat, Jun 17th 7:45pm
  • Sun, Jun 18th 5:15pm
  • Mon, Jun 19th 6:00pm
  • Mon, Jun 19th 7:45pm
  • Tue, Jun 20th 8:00pm
  • Wed, Jun 21st 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jun 22nd 8:45pm
First Chicago run! Steve James and Mark Mitten in person!

“Gripping real-life legal thriller with an appealing Chinese-American twist…both an affirmation and an indictment of the American Dream.” — Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

“An exemplary piece of filmmaking…it’s the human face that tells the story.” — Tom Charity, Sight & Sound

How did Abacus, a small family-run bank, become targeted by the feds to take the fall for the 2008 financial crisis when the Wall Street giants tiptoed away so handily, asks award-winning filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, THE INTERRUPTERS) in this affecting David vs. Goliath chronicle. Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey, banker hero of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, served as the role model for New York Chinatown lawyer Thomas Sung when he founded a community-friendly bank in the 1950s, serving an insular, bank-shy immigrant population. In 2010, his staff discovered and reported irregularities perpetrated by one mortgage manager, bringing down the wrath of the Justice Department, and making Abacus the sole bank to face federal charges in the wake of the financial crisis. Nineteen employees are led away in chains before TV cameras, and the resulting five-year media circus and show trial expose suspiciously glaring inequities in the government case. DCP digital. (BS)

LION DANCE — FRIDAY NIGHT ONLY! To officially kick off the run, join us starting at 7:30 pm (before the 8:15 pm screening) when patrons will be greeted outside of the Film Center with a lion dance to chase away evil spirits and bring good luck for the film's week-long engagement. The lion dance will continue in our theater lobby on the 2nd floor starting at 7:45 pm.

Friday, June 16 at 8:15 PM: Director Steve James and producer Mark Mitten will be present for audience discussion. The discussion will be moderated by film critic Steve Prokopy. There will be a reception before the screening starting at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, June 17 at 7:45 PM: Director Steve James and producer Mark Mitten will be present for audience discussion. The discussion will be moderated by Kim Bellware of Huffington Post.

Sunday, June 18 at 5:15 PM: Director Steve James and producer Mark Mitten will be present for audience discussion, moderated by Kathy Im, MacArthur Foundation's Director of Journalism and Media.

Tuesday, June 20 at 8:00 PM: Director Steve James and producer Mark Mitten will be present for audience discussion, facilitated by Mike McNamara, Executive Director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. This screening is a Movie Club event.

Play Trailer