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Astra Film Festival

This Thursday’s film: Big Boys Gone Bananas

How does a newspaper cultural coverage issue turn into a huge international scandal making the headlines?   

The film Big Boys Gone Bananas – which will be screened on Thursday, May 4th, at 7 PM at Astra Film Cinema – warns about the vulnerability of the film industry and the media as to the business interests of big corporations. After tackling a controversial topic in a previous documentary, the film Big Boys Gone Bananas presents director Frederik Gertten’s own experience with the largest fruit multinational corporation, DOLE Food, that tried to ban the distribution and the screening of the documentary in the US.

The lawsuit between the giant DOLE corporation and the Swedish filmmaker began once his film, Bananas, was selected in the official competition of the Los Angeles International Film Festival. The documentary presents the fatal impact of pesticides used by DOLE Food on banana workers from Nicaragua and how they won the case against the corporation.

Just a few days before the screening of the documentary in Los Angeles, the director is faced with an order from a law firm representing DOLE Food, stipulating the ban of the screening. One by one, both the organizers of the festival and the sponsors receive the same order: LA Times, American Airlines or Stella Artois. The documentary is removed from competition, but it finds its way into the Swedish Parliament, where the director gets the support of all political parties.

Big Boys Gone Bananas looks at the lawsuit filed by DOLE and the lobby campaign they start in order to discredit the film, and it examines the ways the media can be manipulated through constant corporate pressure. DOLE invests millions of dollars in order to suppress the story of the film and the credibility of its producers, and once the documentary proved to be a fraud, the allegations that they had used toxic pesticides would become insubstantial and thus prevent other lawsuits from being filed, which might cost them billions of dollars.

One ticket is 6 lei. Tickets are available 30 minutes before the screening at Astra Film Cinema (11 Piața Mică, Sibiu). For further information, call: 0751.166.516

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An event organized by: Astra Film and CNM Astra

Partners: Swedish Embassy in Bucharest