Movie Review: Abacus: Small Enough To Jail is inessential enough to skip

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It’s not uncommon nowadays to see a pleasant, very professional, mildly engaging documentary that could just as easily have been a 5,000- to 10,000-word magazine article, saving all involved the trouble of financing and making a movie. Abacus: Small Enough To Jail, which relates the interesting enough story of the only bank to be charged with fraud in the wake of the late 2000s subprime mortgage crisis, is one of these—an unusually literal example, as its major points were previously covered in “The Accused,” an article published in The New Yorker in 2015. (It’s about 6,400 words long.) At its center is the Manhattan-based Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a tiny, family-run institution that caters to Chinese immigrants. In 2012, it was indicted on charges of conspiring to sell fraudulent mortgages to Fannie Mae, despite some very dubious evidence and the fact that the bank …