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BANANAS!*

 
BANANAS!*

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(BANANAS!*) Director: Fredrik Gertten, S, 2009, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 88 min

The use of the pesticide DBCP in agriculture was banned around the world in 1977, when it was discovered that it caused sterility. However, the American multinational Dole Food Company, one of the world's biggest producers of bananas, continued using it on its plantations in Nicaragua until 1982. This powerful film by leading Swedish documentary maker and investigative journalist Fredrik Gertten records the court hearings that followed a lawsuit taken against the company by a group of Nicaraguan workers. The case saw top executives from multinationals called before a court in the US in connection with actions carried out in a developing country for the first time ever. Workers were also questioned in a humiliating way about their sexuality, and such scenes from the court alternate with archive footage of children running barefoot around plantations sprayed with poisonous pesticides. Meanwhile, the main figure in this touching documentary is Los Angeles lawyer Juan Dominguez, a likable defender of the rights of the weak who becomes very personally involved in his clients' crusade.


 

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