"a tense courtroom drama... and an endearing tale of a family that fought the government." - Washington Post
“A stunning David-and-Goliath epic.” - Film Journal International
Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown was founded in 1984 in New York by Thomas Sung as a small family-run operation which specialises in small loans to members of the local community. They were also the only bank that was prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. While all other financial institutions were too large to fail, Abacus were singled out as small enough to jail. Faced with charges of systemic fraud, larceny and conspiracy, the Sung Family mounted a legal battle to fight to clear their name.
Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Life Itself) weaves a moving portrait of the Sung Family and their commitment to protecting their business in this David and Goliath tale highlighting the importance of immigrant community institutions.
Skype Q&A with award-winning director Steve James, hosted by DocHouse's Chloe Trayner.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO ADVERTS PLAYED BEFORE FILMS IN THE BERTHA DOCHOUSE SCREEN. ALL FEATURES WILL START PROMPTLY FOLLOWING A SELECTION OF TRAILERS.
DOCHOUSE'S PRODUCER AND ASSOCIATE PROGRAMMER CHLOE TRAYNER SAYS...
"I loved Abacus: Small Enough To Jail, not only as a Steve James fan, but because of the charming family relationship that’s uncovered in the resilience of the Sungs. Their story as the only bank to be prosecuted in the 2008 financial crisis is shocking and demonstrates the problems with the wider banking industry but it’s also relatable on a human level with moments of comedy found in the way the Sungs communicate with each other, not only as business partners but also as a family."