On Wednesday, May 24th, AABANY, KALAGNY and FALA-New York co-sponsored a screening of “ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail” at the IFC Center. The documentary tells the story of the Manhattan District Attorney’s prosecution of the Chinatown-based Abacus Federal Savings Bank, owned by the Sung family. Abacus was the only bank that was criminally prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

At the end of the screening, film producer Mark Mitten and the Sung family joined a short Q and A session with the audience, moderated by past AABANY President Andy Hahn. They answered questions about the filmmaking process and the family’s 5-year legal battle with the prosecutors. The Sung family recounted the challenges they faced as a community-based bank that supported the needs of the immigrant community, reflecting cultural dynamics that the prosecutor’s office seemed oblivious to.

“ABACUS: Too Small to Jail” is playing at the IFC Center through June 1.

We thank the Sung family and Mark Mitten for the enlightening conversation, and we also gratefully acknowledge the following groups for helping us promote the screening:

  • Asian American Arts Alliance
  • Binghamton University Asian and Asian American Alumni Council
  • FF Fraternity
  • Harvard Business School Asian American Alumni Association

Afterwards, Issues Committee Co-Chair Chris Kwok led a contingent to MacDougal Street for some pizza, food and drinks at Denino’s Pizzeria, where the group continued discussing the many important issues raised in the film.

Go see it while it is still playing at IFC!

(Thanks to AABANY summer intern Quentin Wong for the write-up. Photo credits appear in the captions for the individual photos.)