Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

source: Chicago Film Festival
L to R: Vera, Jill and Thomas Sung
After months of anticipation, I finally got to see the Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") directed documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail this past weekend.

From the Abacus movie website, "Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves – and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community – over the course of a five-year legal battle."

On the surface, it's a David vs. Goliath story. Underneath, it's a complicated, nuanced, story of the Chinese (American and foreign-born) experience.

Which is exactly why I wanted and needed to see this film.

For those friends that couldn't attend but want to see the film, there's great news. It will be released in theaters June 2017, and it will be on a future showing on PBS's Frontline. GO SEE IT.

And if you still miss it, set aside your undivided attention for about 15 minutes and read Jiayang Fan's New Yorker article, The Accused. It's a great detailed read about Abacus which includes information about the Sung family that wasn't in the movie.

Here's the trailer:

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