Back to IndieWire

Cleveland vs. Wall Street

On January 11, 2008, Josh Cohen and his partners, attorneys for the City of Cleveland, sue the 21 banks that they deem responsible for the real estate foreclosures that have devastated the city. But the Wall Street banks that they attack oppose going to trial by every means possible.
“Cleveland vs. Wall Street” tells the story of a trial that should have taken place. A cinematic trial but one whose story, characters and testimony are real.

Cleveland Versus Wall Street

On 11th January 2008, hired by the City of Cleveland, lawyer Josh Cohen and his team filed a lawsuit against 21 banks, which they held accountable for the wave of foreclosures that had left their city in ruins. Since then, the bankers on Wall Street have been fighting by with all available means to avoid going to court. This film is the story of that trial. A film about a trial that may never be held but in which the facts, the participants and their testimonies are all real: the judge, lawyers, witnesses, even the members of the jury – asked to give their verdict – play their own roles. Step by step, one witness after another, the film takes apart, from a plain, human perspective, the mechanisms of subprime mortgage loans, a system that sent the world economy reeling. A trial for the sake of example, a universal fable about capitalism