Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

2016, Steve James, USA, 88 min.

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Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 4th 2:00pm
  • Fri, Aug 4th 6:00pm
  • Fri, Aug 4th 7:45pm
  • Sat, Aug 5th 3:00pm
  • Sun, Aug 6th 5:00pm
  • Mon, Aug 7th 6:00pm
  • Tue, Aug 8th 8:00pm
  • Wed, Aug 9th 6:00pm
  • Thu, Aug 10th 8:00pm
Steve James in person!

★★★½ "A compelling and, even now, suspenseful nonfiction account." — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“As gripping as the movie is as a legal thriller, it's even more notable as a portrait of a community." — Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

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 were led away in chains before TV cameras, and the resulting five-year media circus and show trial exposed suspiciously glaring inequities in the government case. DCP digital. (BS)

Friday, August 4 at 7:45 PM & Saturday, August 5 at 3:00 PM: Director Steve James will be present for audience discussion.

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