It has become well known that none of those most responsible for the 2008 recession have faced significant prosecutions or gone to prison for their actions. But one bank did face a severe prosecution in the wake of the recession. On today’s show, we speak to Steve James, the director of a new film about Abacus bank—a small bank that serves New York’s Chinatown community, and how they found themselves facing a harsh prosecution, and how they fought back.
Steve James produced and directed Hoop Dreams, winner of every major critics prize as well as a Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Award. Other award-winning films include Stevie, winner of the Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award, IDFA Grand Jury Prize and the Yamagata Mayor’s Prize, among others; the Independent Documentary Association Award-winning miniseries The New Americans; Tribeca Film Festival Grand Prize winner The War Tapes, which James produced and edited; At the Death House Door, co-directed with Peter Gilbert, and winner of numerous festival awards; No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson for ESPN’s Peabody winning “30 for 30” series; and The Interrupters, which won an Emmy, Independent Spirit Award and the DuPont Columbia Journalism Award, among others. James’ most recent film, Life Itself, was named the best documentary of the year by over a dozen critics associations, Rotten Tomatoes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, the National Board of Review, and the Producers Guild of America. Most recently, Life Itself was nominated for Emmy awards for Best Documentary and Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form.