Thomas Frickel, CEO of The German Documentary Association (AG DOK), has sent a letter to Dole CEO David DeLorenzo and European CEO Jean-Christophe Juilliard. On behalf of AG DOK, he strongly criticizes Dole’s attempts to silence BANANAS!*, and demand that they immediately cease their attack on the film and the freedom of information. Otherwise, he will officially ask the 850 members of AG DOK to use their contacts and resources to produce critical films and news reports about Dole and its methods. Read the full letter below.
CEO / Directeur Général Europe de Dole
President and CEO
Dole Food Company, Inc.
Frankfurt, August 17th, 2009
We, the members of the German Documentary Association, are outraged at how your company is pressuring the independent Swedish production company WG Film in order to prevent the exhibition and distribution of the film “Bananas”.
We view your company’s actions as an attack on the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression which are an intrinsic part of any open society. This is absolutely unacceptable. Your attempts to pressurize film festival sponsors and to ruin a small film production company by burying it in lawsuits are both shabby and transparent. These Machiavellian methods only serve to harm your company’s reputation beyond repair.
The German Documentary Association – Germany’s largest professional film organization numbering more than 850 documentary filmmakers, directors and producers – demands that you immediately cease your attacks on the freedom of information as well as stop your company’s inhuman practices in Latin America which the film “Bananas” criticizes. Otherwise we will officially ask our members to use their excellent contacts to national and international television stations to produce critical films and news reports scrutinizing Dole and its methods. Furthermore, we will ask our partner organizations throughout Europe to encourage their journalists and filmmakers to join our campaign. Many of our journalist and film colleagues are well connected with numerous NGOs which are very experienced in organizing and running boycott campaigns. I can’t imagine that all this would be in your best interest.
We anxiously await your response.
Chairman and CEO – German Documentary Association / AG DOK