Big Boys Gone Bananas
Nov 25, 2012
(Fredrik Gertten, 2012, Sweden, Blu-ray, 88 min)
What is a big corporation capable of in order to protect its brand? Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten recently found out. His previous film Bananas! (2009) recounted a lawsuit brought by 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers against the fruit giant Dole Food Company. The film was selected for competition by the Los Angeles Film Festival. Nothing wrong so far, right? But then Gertten got a strange message: the festival removed Bananas! from competition. Next, a scathing article appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal about the film, and Gertten subsequently received a letter from Dole's attorney threatening him with legal action.
What follows in Big Boys is an unparalleled thriller, as Gertten captures on camera Dole, attacking the producers with a defamation lawsuit and bullying scare-tactics, media-control and PR-spin. This personal film reveals precisely how a multinational will stop at nothing to get its way - freedom of speech is at stake. As Dole's PR company puts it, "It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than a bad reputation." Big Boys Gone Bananas will be followed by a screening of a pre-recorded conversation with the filmmaker.