ABACUS Opens at Siskel Film Center June 16

ABACUS Opens at Siskel Film Center June 16

How did Abacus, a small family-run bank, become targeted by the feds to take the fall for the 2008 financial crisis when the Wall Street giants tiptoed away so handily, asks award-winning filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, THE INTERRUPTERS) in this affecting David vs. Goliath chronicle. Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey, banker hero of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, served as the role model for New York Chinatown lawyer Thomas Sung when he founded a community-friendly bank in the 1950s, serving an insular, bank-shy immigrant population. In 2010, his staff discovered and reported irregularities perpetrated by one mortgage manager, bringing down the wrath of the Justice Department, and making Abacus the sole bank to face federal charges in the wake of the financial crisis. Nineteen employees are led away in chains before TV cameras, and the resulting five-year media circus and show trial expose suspiciously glaring inequities in the government case.

Q&A with director Steve James and producer Mark Mitten for several of the screenings, click here for full schedule and details. And here is the trailer, for your viewing pleasure: