On July 7th, 2009, shortly after the world premiere of Fredrik Gertten's Bananas!*, Dole fruit company filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against WG Film, Gertten and producer Margarete Jangård. The lawsuit claimed that the film defamed Dole.
It was 5 years ago today, after a long and exhausting fight, that a LA judge ruled in favor of WG Film. The case and subsequent film Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, did not only serve to defend Bananas!*. It was a fight to defend freedom of speech and more importantly, to make sure that in the US and globally, the story of the Nicaraguan bananas farmers would be heard.
Bananas!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* continue to screen, now having played in over 80 countries. The sale of FairTrade bananas and products in general has skyrocketed across the world. In Sweden, FairTrade banana sales increased by 600% between 2010 and 2014. FairTrade Sweden praised the film's contribution to this, saying that Bananas!* put a human face behind the fruit sold in our supermarkets.
The lawsuit is settled, the films have been seen, but the work is not done! Dole still thrives as the "world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables" and behind much of the fruit on our grocery store shelves is the mistreatment of human beings. Do your part by continuing to buy FairTrade and encouraging others to as well!
It's so good to see that people still want to screen "BANANAS!*" and "BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS" around the world!
Here is a list of the upcoming screenings of both films in September and October:
19-25 september: "BANANAS!*" and "BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS" at Swedish Film Festival in Japan!
More info (in Japanese)
20 september: "BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS" in Bonn
3 october: "BANANAS!*" in Barcelona.
3-10 october: "BANANAS!*" and "BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS" at ZIFFT
(website under construction)
13 october: "BANANAS!*" in Duluth, MN at Zinema 2. It will be apart of an environmentally conscious doc series that will happen on Tuesdays throughout the Fall.
The plantation workers are yet to receive the just compensation for their mistreatment. But at least some justice has been served to the corrupt CEO of Dole.
A Delaware court ruled that the CEO of produce giant Dole, David Murdock, along with Chief Operating Officer C. Michael Carter, intentionally defrauded investors by undervaluing the company in order for Murdock to purchase the remaining shares at a discounted rate. The 92 year-old billionaire had already owned 40 percent of Dole’s stock prior to a management-led buyout that turned the company private in 2013. Laster believed that the executives fraudulently created grim sales forecasts, as well as drove the stock price down by understating the cost savings of Dole’s 2012 sale of its Asian operations, as well as cancelling a planned stock buyback. These activities led to Murdock purchasing the remaining shares for $13.50 each in a $1.2 billion purchase. Laster ruled that the executives undervalued the shares by $2.74 apiece, ordering that they pay the difference, a total of $148.2 million to the investors, many of them pension funds, that filed the class-action lawsuit.
Download the full case file on this post
Fredrik is in Podgorica, Montenegro this week for the Embassy of Sweden's Svedska@ME, a
Swedish promotion event in Montenegro which includes several activities, mainly a Swedish film
This afternoon, Fredrik is following a screening of Big Boys Gone Bananas!*with a discussion on freedom of expression. The Embassy of Sweden will be live streaming the talk on Bambuser at 17.45.
For more information about Svedska@ME here.
Fredrik Gertten received quite the warm welcome this morning at hotel Scandic Malmen in Stockholm - A nice big bowl of bananas. Dole bananas. Needless to say, not his usual choice for breakfast.
In the hotel's defense, they were quick to apologize for their unfortunate choice of fruit and promised to have "nice" bananas waiting for him tomorrow.
Unfortunately, we're all bound to be bombarded by Dole bananas at one place or another. But it doesn't have to be that way! The next time you visit a hotel, grocery store, cafe, etc. that has Dole products, tell them you won't eat them and neither should anyone else. Hopefully, like Scandic Malmen, they'll come to their senses and replace them with Fairtrade and organic fruit. Now there's something worth eating for breakfast!
Looking for a way to watch Big Boys Gone Bananas!* online? We have good news for our friends in the United States. The film is now available to watch on Netflix!
As you may know, Big Boys Gone Bananas!* is the sequel to Fredrik Gertten’s award-winning documentary, Bananas!*. Bananas!* recounts the lawsuit that 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company. It was a groundbreaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide, which was known by the company to cause sterility. You can watch the film here to get the full story behind Big Boys.
Join Fredrik Gertten tomorrow evening for Connectors Malmö's screening of Bananas!* at the Garaget. Make sure to stay after the screening for a discussion on the film, along with fika and Dole-free banana smoothies.
Check out the event on Facebook for more information.
Can't make the screening, but still interested in watching Bananas!*? You can watch the film online here!
Last week Fredrik Gertten received the prize "Blåslampan" from The Swedish Consumers' Association with the motivation that his films spotlighted big companies power, guilt and responsibility. Birgitta Ohlsson, Swedens Minister for EU-affairs handed over the prize.
The People’s Choice Award at Filmambiente, Rio de Janeiro, went to Big Boys Gone Bananas!* with 83,78% of the votes for Excellent Film!
We are very grateful for the strong support!
After s successful tour through Chile in April, director Fredrik Gertten now visits again, with screenings of Big Boys Gone Bananas!* in Santiago and Valparaiso. The film will screen once in each city, starting tomorrow July 2nd at Bar The Clinic, Santiago.
Later Fredrik will continue to Peru with both films. There will be screenings in Lima, Arequipa and Iquitos. After the Lima screenings Fredrik will be present for a Q&A with the audience.
See times and dates in Chile and Peru HERE.
Come and invite your friends!