PN 19: New Docs on True Crime
“The Skyjacker’s Tale” and “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” are two new docs on crime and justice making their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Pure Nonfiction host and TIFF documentary programmer Thom Powers talks to both directors.
In “The Skyjacker’s Tale,” filmmaker Jamie Kastner profiles Ishmael Muslim Ali (aka Ishmael Labeet) who was among a group of men convicted for the Fountain Valley Massacre killing of eight people on the island of St. Croix in 1972. Ali professed his innocence and twelve years later, during a prison transfer, he managed to hijack a plane to Cuba where he still lives.
In “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” filmmaker Steve James (known for “Hoop Dreams” and “Life Itself”) investigates the aggressive prosecution of a bank in New York’s Chinatown. The Abacus bank was founded by the Chinese immigrant Thomas Sung. After the 2008 financial scandals, Abacus was the only bank to be prosecuted by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr.
Pure Nonfiction is distributed by the TIFF podcast network.