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Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 7 July 2017 (UK)
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A small financial institution called Abacus becomes the only company criminally indicted in the wake of the United States' 2008 mortgage crisis.

Director:

Steve James
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Sung Thomas Sung ... Himself - Founder, Abacus Federal Savings Bank
Hwei Lin Sung Hwei Lin Sung ... Herself - Thomas Sung's Wife
Cyrus Vance Jr. Cyrus Vance Jr. ... Himself - District Attorney, New York County
Matt Taibbi ... Himself - Journalist & Author, The Divide
Jill Sung Jill Sung ... Herself - Abacus President & CEO
Vera Sung Vera Sung ... Herself - Abacus Director
Heather Sung Heather Sung ... Herself - Physician
Chanterelle Sung Chanterelle Sung ... Herself - Former Assistant DA
Linda Hall Linda Hall ... Herself - Title Closer
David Lindorff David Lindorff ... Himself - Investigative Journalist
Jiayang Fan Jiayang Fan ... Himself - Staff Writer, The New Yorker
Polly Greenberg Polly Greenberg ... Herself - Chief, Major Economic Crimes Bureay NY DA's Office
Yiu Wah Wong Yiu Wah Wong ... Himself - Abacus Chief Credit Officer
Kevin Puvalowski Kevin Puvalowski ... Himself - Attorney for Abacus
Sam Talkin Sam Talkin ... Himself - Attorney for Mr. Wong
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Storyline

After the 2008 financial crisis that nearly destroyed the world economy, none of the American financial institutions faced prosecutions for their shady dealings that contributed to this debacle, except one. Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small Chinese-American bank that catered to the neglected market of their community, was indicted on fraud charges and loan falsifications. As the bank disputed these accusations, many in the mainstream news media noticed that far larger competitors appeared to have committed similar misdeeds without legal consequence; likely because they were "too big to fail." This film explores the history of Abacus and its legal battle for survival against this hypocritical, and likely racist, application of the law that seemed to determined to punish them as a scapegoat for crimes that much larger felons deserve to face. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 July 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Abacus. El banco que pagó la crisis See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,528, 19 May 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$104,621, 14 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve James' first Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, following notable omissions like "Hoop Dreams" and "Life, Itself". See more »

Quotes

Himself - Founder, Abacus Federal Savings Bank: Abacus, you know, is the Chinese calculator. China Regards abacus as a national treasure. So we say we'll name the bank Abacus.
See more »

Connections

References Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch it
11 February 2018 | by ryanlaurencecoleSee all my reviews

I want to be careful to ensure my opinion of the doc isn't just my opinion of the subject. I don't think the subjects of the doc are admirable or deserve to be felt sorry for. The doc however, does a good job of introducing the players and explaining each of their association with the bank and family who runs it. I found myself getting distracted by the numerous scenes showing the family talking over each other and communicating nothing. I wanted to know more about the the effect on the trial on the community instead. Although this isn't my favourite doc of the year, I certainly think it's worth a watch.


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