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Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

(Big Boys Gone Bananas!*) Director: Fredrik Gertten, S, 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 87 min

Just before Swedish documentarian and investigative journalist Fredrik Gertten set off for Los Angeles for the world premiere of Bananas! (screened at One World in 2010), he received some shocking news from the organisers. At the last minute, his film – documenting the alarming situation of Nicaraguan workers at Dole banana plantations, now suffering from serious health problems due to the use of pesticides – had been removed from a festival competition and might not be shown at all. Despite not having seen it, lawyers for Dole, a huge U.S.-based food producer, wrote to festival organisers, sponsors and the American media. They accused the director of lying and called the documentary a fraud. In the end, Gertten went to L.A. to defend his film. A tense drama about an uneven battle with a powerful multinational, Big Boys Gone Bananas!* presents disquieting evidence that even in the “most democratic country in the world,” freedom of speech is by no means a given.


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