Abacus: Small Enough To Jail
DOCS D: Steve James. U.S. 90 min. Sep 11, 4 pm, Hot Docs; Sep 13, 9:30 pm, Scotiabank 2; Sep 18, 6 pm, Hot Docs. Rating: NNNN
Remember the economic meltdown of 2008 and how none of the major banks was held criminally responsible because they were "too big to fail"?
Well, veteran documentarian James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, Life Itself) would like to introduce you to the one bank that was targeted - the Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small family-run company founded in New York's Chinatown by Thomas Sung to help his fellow immigrants build a future in America.
The legal machinations are less interesting than the Sung family's refusal to be scapegoated. As James follows their case through the courts, his movie turns into a crackling family drama. This might make a great stage play someday.