‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’

Screens 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1 at Emagine Novi and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2 at the Marvin and Betty Danto Lecture Hall, Detroit Institute of the Arts. Tickets are $10, $9 for Friends of the Detroit Film Theatre DIA venues.

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” tells the incredible saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. 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 5-year legal battle. At turns funny, infuriating and uplifting, the documentary was directed by Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself”).

Michigan premiere.

After the film: On Saturday, Detroit Free Press personal finance columnist Susan Tompor leads a discussion on the financial crisis and community banking that will include Shoeb Sharieff, founder of Ijara Community Development Corp.; Chase Cantrell, executive director of Building Community Value Detroit; and Lorray Brown, director of the Michigan Foreclosure Prevention Project.

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Year: 2016
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Steve James
Cinematographer: Tom Bergmann
Editors: John Farbrother, David E. Simpson
Producers: Julie Goldman, Mark Mitten
Production company: Kartemquin Films
Other film festivals: TIFF 2016, NYFF 2016, True/False 2017