Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

  • Awards: People's Choice Award @ Filmambiente | AUDIENCE AWARD FOR FAVOURITE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE @ Cambridge Film Festival 2012
  • What is a big corporation capable of in order to protect its brand? Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten's experienced this recently. His previous film BANANAS!* (2009) recounts the lawsuit that 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company. The film was selected for competition by the Los Angeles Film Festival. Nothing wrong so far, right? But then Gertten gets a strange message: the festival removes BANANAS!* from competition. Then a scathing article appears in the Los Angeles Business Journal about the film, and Gertten subsequently receives a letter from Dole's attorney threatening him with legal action. What follows is an unparalleled thriller that has Gertten capturing the entire process - from DOLE attacking the producers with a defamation lawsuit, bullying scaretactics, to media-control and PR-spin. This personal film reveals precisely how a multinational will stop at nothing to get its way - freedom of speech is at stake. As Dole's PR company puts it, "It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than a bad reputation". (from the IDFA catalogue)

premiere location: IDFA 2011


  • director(s): Fredrik Gertten
  • screenwriter(s): Fredrik Gertten
  • cinematographer(s): Joseph Aguirre, Stefan Berg, Joakim Demmer, David McGuire, Frank Pineda
  • editor(s): Benjamin Binderup, Jesper Osmund
  • music: Dan "Gisen" Malmquist, Conny Malmqvist
  • executive producer(s): Fredrik Gertten
  • producer(s): Margarete Jangård
  • production company: WG Film
  • composer: Dan "Gisen" Malmquist, Conny Malmqvist
  • TV channel: Against Gravity, SVT, VPRO, YLE
  • supported by: Swedish Film Insitute

technical data

  • film format: HD
  • audio format: Stereo
  • aspect ratio: 16/9
  • production year: 2011
  • runtime: 58', 88'
  • countries: SWEDEN
  • genres: investigative
  • languages: English, Swedish
  • subtitles: English, Spanish


  • Mark Adams, chief film critic, Screen Daily “The film makes for absorbing viewing – and could almost be a dramatic fiction film, perhaps with Russell Crowe cast as the crusading Swedish filmmaker – and should be a must at film festivals around the world”.
  • Katherine Monk, Ottawa Citizen “The result is Big Boys Gone Bananas!, probably the most important movie here at Sundance, and one that's been selling out every screening, and closing out with three-minute long standing ovations”.


  • Bergen International Film Festival
  • DocPoint Helsinki
  • DocsBarcelona
  • Dok Fest Munich
  • DOXA
  • Doxa Documentary Festival, Vancouver
  • Hot Docs
  • IDFA 2011
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival
  • Planete+ Doc Film Festival
  • Planete Doc Review
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest
  • Sundance

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