I’ve seen a couple good films lately on Netflix. I loved A Band Called Death and Good Ol Freda, but I need to talk about Big Boys Gone Bananas. If you haven’t seen this film, and you have any interest in documentary filmmaking and Freedom of Speech and a Free Press you need to check it out.
The back-story is in 2009 Swedish Filmmaker/Journalist Fredrik Gertten made a film (Bananas) about Dole (the huge fruit company) and a lawsuit they lost where they were found liable for spraying toxic chemicals on the workers in the fields.
Big Boys Gone Bananas chronicles the lengths Dole went to discredit the film, the filmmaker and other persons involved with the film. They sent out so much misinformation and made veiled threats of lawsuits, (and even filed one lawsuit against the filmmakers), they basically did everything they could to silence the film Bananas.
The pressured (and threatened) the LA Film Festival where it was to be shown and in an amazing act of cowardice Film Independent (who sponsors the now “out of competition” screening of the movie) states that the film is full of lies and the only reason it is being shown is to have a discussion afterwards about lies in documentaries (or something like that).
The upshot here is that everyone believes Dole is telling the truth and NO ONE bothers to check the real facts, only the innuendo supplied by Dole and their expensive lawyers and PR Flaks. And the people at Dole admit to some of the journalists they’re talking to that they haven’t even seen the film!
It is a frightening film because the filmmakers talk to journalists, PR people (who are ex-journalists) and communication experts who detail how Dole is carrying out their disinformation campaign and the fact that all of these media people aren’t following up.
This film is much more complex then what I’m telling you (please watch it) and I have to tell you that I was horrified watching the lengths Dole went to, to stop this film from being seen. In the end no one really wins, although the filmmakers are eventually vindicated, and Dole backs down.
This film shows how a well-financed corporation can disseminate lies and intimidate people to stop them from doing things that they perceive are unflattering to their image. For a long time we have known who really controls what we see and what we believe. This film is depressing as fuck! Watch it.
Here is the Trailer…
Here is a link where you can watch the film…