Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016)


“Abacus, you know, is the Chinese calculator. China Regards abacus as a national treasure. So we say we’ll name the bank Abacus.” – Thomas Sung

Number of Times Seen – 1 (17 May 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the only financial institute prosecuted for wrongdoing in the financial fallout of 2008, a small Chinese-American Bank.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been interested in seeing for quite some time since it was one of the 5 nominees for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars.

I have never really understood much of what we have all been told about the Mortgage bailout crisis of 2008 and films that have tried to make it seem more palatable have confused me even more.

Steve James does a nice job trying to explain what happened via the use of a small yet significant party in the whole escapade.

This is a very interesting look at the events because it shows a side of things that is usually not discussed; the small banks that were working with the big banks the whole time.

They do a great job showing how absurd the charges and trial of this small family owned bank were and as the story moves along, we can easily see how much of a farce this whole lawsuit was.

This is a David and Goliath tale that helps shed a bit more light on the process and ultimately the guilt of one of the largest financial crises ever to hit the US Market.

The interviews are quite candid and help us understand slightly better the complete mess of everything that happened.

Bottom Line – Interesting documentary that tries to show us another side to the whole financial crisis. The way that the story is told shows how absurd the charges against this film were and how much a farce the whole trial and the lawsuit were since it ios all a complete paradox. James gives us the opportunity to try and understand the financial crisis from a small yet apparently significant source. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Steve James’ first Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, following notable omissions like “Hoop Dreams” and “Life, Itself” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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2 thoughts on “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2016 |

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