Have you seen “Bananas!*” the movie? If not, then you should.
“Bananas!*” is a movie from the Swedish film company WG Film about the banana company Dole Food Company, Inc. and their activities in Nicaragua. In the movie you get to know that Dole used banned pesticides at their banana fields they knew where dangerous to the workers.
What’s even worse is that Dole is now trying to silence anyone that mention this, especially the filmmakers by suing them. Dole’s acting is a big threat to the freedom of speech in the entire world, because if they succeed no one will ever be able to critic big companies since they will be able to sue you (even if you’re right).
The film makers and WG Film issued a statement via their lawyer Richard J. Lee:
“My clients and I believe that this suit is without merit and represents the latest in a continued line of intimidating harassment by a multinational corporation aimed squarely at a small, independent film and its filmmakers.
It is unfortunate that rather than concentrate its resources toward genuinely addressing the acts it admitted to, and was found liable of committing as covered in the film, Dole instead chooses to stifle even basic discussion by attempting to silence the messenger of a message it dislikes.
Moreover, it is appalling that through this action, Dole is attempting to shift the focus away from its own CEO’s court admission that Dole continued the usage of a banned pesticide even after being informed of its harm by its manufacturer Dow Chemicals, and now on to WG Film which captured that moment on film.
It is important to note that Dole committed to suing WG Film without seeing the film.
Dole has touted a judge’s later finding against one of the attorneys in the case shown in the film which did not in fact exonerate Dole or its actions in Nicaragua.
In all screenings of the film which have occurred to date we have disclosed the judge’s findings and put the trial fully in context with events which happened after the completion of this documentary.”
As an example Dole was able to stop the movie from competing at the Los Angeles film festival, by having a court order to block the film’s screening prior to the Festival’s opening in June 2009!
Swedish parliament member Mats Johansson writes:
“For me as a former journalist and publisher the “BANANAS!*” case is of great political importance. The freedom of speech is central to an open society, and must be protected all over the world. The outcome of the process is crucial for the future in a global context, which is a new situation to Swedish standards.”
If you have the chance see the movie, if not for the banana workers but at least to protect freedom of speech in the world! Here’s a trailer for the movie and you can also rent the full movie for only $4.99 after the trailer:
The web site for BANANAS!* can be found at www.bananasthemovie.com
UPDATE: Rent the movie BANANAS!* here! (After the trailer for the new movie Big Boys Gone BANANAS!*)