In 1995, director Steve James (of 'Hoop Dreams') returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy to whom he had been an "Advocate Big Brother" ten years earlier.
An investigation of the wrongful death of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed in Texas on December 7, 1989, after prosecutors ignored evidence inculpating a man, who bragged to friends about committing the crimes of which DeLuna was convicted.
After the 2008 financial crisis that nearly destroyed the world economy, none of the American financial institutions faced prosecutions for their shady dealings that contributed to this debacle, except one. Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small Chinese-American bank that catered to the neglected market of their community, was indicted on fraud charges and loan falsifications. As the bank disputed these accusations, many in the mainstream news media noticed that far larger competitors appeared to have committed similar misdeeds without legal consequence; likely because they were "too big to fail." This film explores the history of Abacus and its legal battle for survival against this hypocritical, and likely racist, application of the law that seemed to determined to punish them as a scapegoat for crimes that much larger felons deserve to face.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have never written a review but feel compelled to by the emotional response and anger this documentary has stirred. It is a well-done documentary, and I guess I am just shocked by its content.
I have studied the 2008 financial crisis extensively. I had no idea this happened. The US government and the New York DA's office should be absolutely ashamed. The fact that this happened makes me disappointed in my government. Part of me is holding some hope that the documentary is extremely biased and one sided (though I do not believe this is true). It makes me physically ill to think that the large financial institutions such as Citi Group, Bank of America, JP Morgan, etc., got away with what they did in causing the financial crisis and our government spent its resources persecuting this small family run community bank. Unbelievable.
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