Making a documentary film, or any film, is a hard, lengthy and often difficult process. This said Swedish film maker Fredrik Gertten decided to make a second documentary after his film Bananas!*, was targeted by the large multinational company Dole who didn’t want Bananas!* seen anywhere.
The reasoning behind this was that the documentary showed that the Nicaraguan workers who Dole, a large banana producer, employed had become sterile from the pesticides the company knowingly used on their fruit. So Big Boys Gone Bananas!* is in essence a documentary of the harassment and lengths taken by Dole to get the film not seen.
And for a documentary this is what is generally frightening about the experience of watching the movie. Dole wears the mask of the ‘company’ and goes to great lengths to stop the film festivals, distributors and Gertten showing and doing anything with his film.
…financial ruin hanging over the director…
The film is shown from the viewpoint of Gertten, but this doesn’t change the opinions or the actions of Dole. In fact with financial ruin hanging over the director and the production house, Gertten still is objective even in the face of being called a liar. It makes for interesting and thought provoking viewing, centred on a man who stands up to those that maybe we should all start asking questions.
A remarkable and harrowing film, Big Boys Gone Bananas!* is documentary film making at its best.