Abacus is the story of a family bank in the Asian Community that has the distinction of being the only bank in the America to have been charged with anything following the subprime mortgage crisis. The documentary itself operates in typical documentary fashion with talking heads, experts, witnesses, and first-hand accounts mixed in with community footage, photos, and news reels from the time to tell a very involving story of the little guy getting pushed around and fighting back only to win. The analogy of David and Goliath is actually utilized in the documentary itself.
One of the reasons I decided to do a review of this film is because it present a narrative that is not seldom heard by other communities, especially not mine (the Black Community). The narrative that Asians in America are not protected by their wealth, that they are abused, and that they do pay a price for their political weakness. This is an important narrative because in our community we often hold the Asians up as shining examples of how politics are not necessary and how so many other things that we should be doing are mere distractions. This documentary teaches us we must be fully engaged on all levels in addition to being united and supportive of each other as individuals, organizations, and groups. While it is easy to highlight the fact that they eventually won their case and where declared not guilty, it should also be highlighted that a considerable amount of damage was done anyway in the form of reputation damage, time lost, stress, and emotions. The fact that the local government was even willing to go to trial and put them through so much shows us that their model is not a complete model and is very much in need of some changes (something else that was mentioned in the documentary).