Director: Fredrik Gertten
Running time: 90 minutes
First off, if you’re reading this expecting a review of a porno, prepare to be disappointed. (Although why you’d want to read a review of that kind of thing is beyond me. Weirdo.)
In 2009, filmmaker Fredrik Gertten and his small team of production staff made the documentary BANANAS!*, a film about a legal conflict between the Dole Food Company and banana plantation workers in Nicaragua. The battle was over the alleged use of a toxic pesticide, that cause sterility in the workers, along with other nasty side effects.
Despite not actually seeing the film themselves, Dole got all pissy about it, and launched a fully fledged attack on Gertten, slapping him with threats and lawsuits left right and centre. This film documents what happened, and the fight that Gertten and his team found themselves in, not only for their livelihood, but for their integrity.
I have to admit that the prospect of watching a documentary about a documentary about fruit didn’t really fill me with enthusiasm, but it really is quite an interesting watch. Mainly because it’s a bit of a ‘David and Goliath’ type thing, and we all love an underdog, don’t we?
And you will be rooting for the little guy. The film perfectly portrays what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit, a PR onslaught and slap bang in the middle of a crazy-ass media circus, all at the hands of some big banana bullies. It’s totally mystifying, the lengths to which such a massive global company would go to destroy anyone that got in their way, no matter how small or seemingly powerless. Pretty frightening too.
But fear not! There is always hope. And where there is hope, there is usually a happy ending.
BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* isnavailable on DVD 19 November