August 22, 2009

BANANAS!* free speech campaign

Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 6:45 pm

Dole Food Company is suing filmmaker Fredrik Gertten, producer Margarete Jangård and our production company WG Film for slander and defamation with our film BANANAS!*. The film follows an historic event in an American court, and is a matter of public record – not defamation.

We are supporters of free speech. We believe that filmmakers have the right to make films on important issues and bring stories to the forefront that can create debate and criticism. Lawsuits such as this one are meant to silence and stop all communication and dialogue.

Dole is trying to shift the focus from themselves and their controversial treatment of banana workers on to us and our film. This unfounded lawsuit means more than just silencing a single documentary film. It is a threat against free speech itself and will set precedence for all of us if Dole succeeds. We can not let Dole stop BANANAS!*.

In October 2009, BANANAS!* will premiere in the following Swedish cities:

(More will be announced soon)
Båstad, Scala, Oct 9
Fagersta, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Gusum, Folkan bio, Oct 9
Göteborg, Roy, Oct 9
Haparanda, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Järfälla, Folkets hus Kallhäll, Oct 9
Lund, Kino, Oct 9
Malmö, Spegeln, Oct 9
Mörrum, Bio Laxen, Oct 9
Nynäshamn, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Osby, Bio Borgen, Oct 9
Skärhamn, Saga, Oct 9
Skoghall, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Stockholm, Rio, Oct 9
Stockholm, Zita, Oct 9
Tomelilla, Brösarps bio, Oct 9
Trollhättan, Forum/Folkets hus, Oct 9
Uppsala, Fyris, Oct 9 (no broadcast)
Västerås, Elektra, Oct 9
Ånge, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Åseda, Folkets hus, Oct 9
Örebro, Roxy, Oct 9
Östersund, Regina, Oct 9 (no broadcast)

More premiere dates, October 2009:
Kumla, Folkan, Oct 11
Älmhult, Folkan, Oct 13
Söråker, Folkets hus, Oct 14
Umeå, Folkets bio, Oct 16
Norrköping, Harlekinen, Oct 18 & 25
Växjö, Palladium, Oct 22
Lidköping, Folkets hus, Oct 23
Karlstad, Arenan, Oct 26-27


Take action
We need your help! We want the film to be seen by as many people as possible. Here are some suggestions what you can do:

  • Spread the word by telling the BANANAS!* story to all your friends.
  • Join our Facebook fan page and invite your friends.
  • Spread the trailer: YouTube » or Vimeo »
  • Start a debate in your local newspaper about for example corporate responsibility, food politics or the importance of free speech.
  • Pay a visit to your local food store and ask where their bananas come from. Demand that they sell only fair trade bananas.
  • Dig deeper into the story and publish articles on your blog. Help us shift the focus away from the controversy around the film and back to Dole (or other transnational food companies) and their actions in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • Send emails or letters to Dole and their lawyers and let them know you don’t like how they are trying to silence an independent filmmaker by litigation.
  • Send emails to groups and organizations working with food politics, pesticides, corporate responsibility and free speech. Tell them about the film and the lawsuit and ask them to post news about it on their website and link to this site.
  • Launch a BANANAS!* petition online or sign an existing one. Sign the Reporters Without Borders petition »
  • If you are an artist (musician, moviemaker etc.) let the press and your fans know that you support us.


Further action
If BANANAS!* screens in your city, gather some friends and create a local support group. Help us represent BANANAS!* at the screenings. Do you want to help us? Send a mail to

  • Put up posters around the city. Hand out newsletters and sell T-shirts and posters at the screenings. We will send you everything you need by mail from our Malmö office and keep in touch by email and telephone.
  • Inform local politicians, organizations, activists and celebrities about the film and the dates of the screenings. Give them a call or send them our ready made info letter. Ask them to make statements to the press about what they think about the film and the lawsuit.
  • Arrange debates after the screenings about for example food politics, corporate responsibility or free speech. Invite researchers, journalists and representatives from fair trade organizations and corporations. Maybe the local school, university or other study association can provide a location and assist in arranging such an event?
  • If you are an artist, create a piece of art inspired by bananas. For example your relation to the fruit or a comment to the political and social dilemmas it holds. With your permission, we would love to publish your work or provide links here on this site.


For the latest BANANAS!* updates and news


August 14, 2009


Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 2:32 pm

All BANANAS!* merchandise is handled by the WG Film Shop. When you click on an item, you are re-directed to that item on the shop website. The shop is located in Malmö, Sweden and supports payments via credit card and PayPal. Thank you for supporting BANANAS!*

The BANANAS!* DVD is now available in Scandinavia.
UK and US release will follow in 2010.

Order your copy now »
(link to the WG Film shop)


15 Euro

Picture: PAL 16:9 Widescreen
Sound: 5.1 Surround
Length: 87 min + 38 min bonus material
Language: English, Spanish
Subtitles: Swedish, Danish, Finish
Region: 2
Cover: Swedish

Bonus material:

  • Interview with Fredrik Gertten from Spegeln cinema, Malmö (in Swedish).
  • “Pictures from a banana plantation”, 13 min.

BANANAS!* Posters

white poster

White poster (70×100 cm)
"On trial for malice"

10 EUR

Download web version (JPG) »

black poster

Black poster (70×100 cm)
"At any cost?"

10 EUR

Download web version (JPG) »

Go to WG Film Shop »

July 24, 2009


Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 10:31 am

We need your help! Support the distribution of BANANAS!* and our legal fight against Dole Food Co.

The independent non-proft association Filmmakers’ Freedom of Speech have launched a fund raising campaign for BANANAS!*.

The association has decided to support director Fredrik Gertten, producer Margarete Jangård and our production company WG Film in our legal fight against Dole Food Co.

Read more at their webiste:
There you can become a member and donate money via PayPal or via traditional bank transfer.


You can also donate money to Filmmaker’s Freedom of Speech directly from this site.

When you click on the button below, you will be redirected to PayPal. There you can pay on the fly using a credit card or log in to an existing PayPal account.

The charge will appear as "Filmmaker’s Freedom of Speech" on your credit card statement.

Thank you for your support!


Another way to support BANANAS!* is to buy posters and T-shirts in the BANANAS!* shop »

July 2, 2009

Sign the filmmakers petition for free speech!

Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 4:04 pm

Before the screening of BANANAS!* in Los Angeles on June 20, a petition was arranged by other filmmakers participating in the festival.

Please continue the list by writing your name and location as a comment below!


Rebeca Yeldham
Director of Los Angeles Film Festival, 2009

Dear Rebeca,

We are writing on the behalf of all the directors of this year’s LAFF to support Fredrik Gertten and his film "BANANAS!*".

We strongly feel that as artists one has the right and freedom to show their work despite how others might feel about the content.

Thank you for sustaining the integrity of the Fesitval by showing BANANAS!* tonight.



Sam Fleischner
Ben Chace
Alicia Scherson
Jason Buschman
Hilla Medalia
Henry Bernadet
Myriam Verreault
Gabriel Mascaro
Natalia Almada
Topaz Adizes
Jean-Marie Téno
Celina Murga
Raúl Cuesta
Anais Huerta

Rebeca Méndez
Click image for large version


June 16, 2009

A letter to the international documentary community

Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 10:10 am

Dear colleagues,

We have been working on the feature documentary BANANAS!* since 2006, and we are slated to launch the film at the Los Angeles Film Festival, held June 18-28 this year.

The film follows a landmark court case – Tellez et. al. v. Dole Food Company Inc. et. al. – where a group of Nicaraguan banana workers, with the help of attorney Juan Dominguez, sues Dole Food for using a banned pesticide in their Nicaraguan plantations. Prolonged exposure to this pesticide was known to cause sterility in human males. It was the first time that agricultural workers from the developing world gave
testimony against a US-based multinational in a US court.

In January, 2008, a full jury found Dole Food guilty of causing harms to the workers, and of acting with malicious intent. They awarded damages to the workers, and Dole is now appealing the verdict. Despite this appeal, during the trial the CEO of Dole Food admitted on the stand that he continued to use the aforementioned pesticide in his Nicaraguan plantations, after it was banned in the US.

Dominguez had many other, similar cases in line following the Tellez case. Dole accused Dominguez of fraud, and the presiding Judge, Victoria Chaney, sided with Dole and threw out all remaining cases. At this point the Tellez decision stands, and case is still under appeal by Dole.

Recent developments have called the validity of certain aspects of the case into question. As those of you who have done courtroom documentaries can attest, court cases can keep developing years after the verdict. Regardless of the final outcome, the film is an accurate representation of the case over a period of time, and our broadcasters and all our other partners support the film 100%.

On May 8, the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, who represented Dole in court, attempted to get Judge Chaney to stop the film from being screened at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. The Judge stated to those present: “Just so we are clear, I am not in any way going to make, and I will not consider, any request for prior restraint on free speech. Okay? So, don’t ask me to go try and contact the film company. I don’t have jurisdiction over them. But even if I did, don’t ask me for it.”

As they were unsuccessful with Judge Chaney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP sent us a letter demanding we ‘cease and desist’ plans to screen the film at the Festival. The first such letter sent to us, on May 8 of this year, was copied to all the corporate sponsors of the LA Film Festival, but was not copied to the LA Film Festival itself. A copy of this letter and related letters are available here.

To date, neither Dole nor Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP have actually seen our film. They are basing their comments on a three-minute trailer and information posted here on our website,

Dole’s team is now moving on to yet another strategy and have contacted the Swedish Consulate in LA and the Swedish Ambassador to the US in Washington, asking them to help stop the film.

To date they have only succeeded in getting the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) to pull out of ‘co-hosting’ the film’s opening night at the Festival. However, a lawyer from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher serves on the board of directors of the LAFLA.

Out of respect to the LA Film Festival, we did not broadcast any of these actions until now. However with days to go before our premiere, we are spreading the word.

We are considering all our options given Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s actions.

As we move forward, we hope you as our allies in the international documentary community will throw your support behind us. Dole and their counsel’s interference with us, ITVS, the Festival, and their sponsors represent a serious threat to independent documentary production.

Please join our mailing list for breaking news by filling out your mail address in the sidebar to the right, and join our facebook group.

Things will begin to move rapidly, and we will keep you updated as they come.


In thanks and solidarity,

Fredrik Gertten
Margarete Jangård
Lise Lens-Møller
Bart Simpson




May 5, 2009

Bananas!* wallpapers

Filed under: Take Action — admin @ 10:00 am

Tired of your old desktop wallpaper? Try one of these! Just choose a design and your resolution.

wallpaper - logo1


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wallpaper - branded


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wallpaper - rotten


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wallpaper - Ceasar


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