Screening Room: ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’

The newest documentary from Steve James (Hoop Dreams), Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, opens this week in limited release and should be running soon on PBS. My review is at Film Journal International:

For his first feature-length documentary since Life Itself, Steve James takes on one of the great unknown stories of the housing market crash. Following the detonation in 2007 and 2008 of the toxic subprime mortgages that had been inflating the profits of financial institutions and the subsequent government bailout, there was a hue and cry for at least some heads of those firms to face criminal charges … No matter how loud those calls were, though, ultimately no financial-industry institution was ever put on trial for anything relating to the greatest market collapse since the Great Depression. Except, that is, for the family-run Abacus Federal Savings Bank in New York’s Chinatown…

Here’s the trailer:

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