Here’s the trailer to Bananas!* The movie Dole doesn’t want you to see
Dole, the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer, has apparently never heard of the Streisand Effect.
Yesterday, it filed a defamation lawsuit against the makers of the documentary Bananas!* calling the film “seriously flawed.” It had already sent the filmmakers cease-and-desist letters and tried to strongarm the Los Angeles Film Festival into not showing it last month.
The film has to do with the worm-killing pesticide dibromochloropropane that Dole used on bananas grown in Nicaragua in the ’60s and ’70s. The pesticide was banned in 1979, after workers who came into contact with it became sterile and it produced cancer-causing cells in mice.
The film picks up in 2007, when Juan J. Dominguez, the hotshot lawyer representing sterile Nicaraguan plantation workers, sues Dole. The workers originally won a $1.58 million settlement, setting a precedent for foreign workers to sue American companies. But after two years of more fighting, the decision was recently overturned by a judge.
Judging from the trailer, it looks to be in the style of court-room documentaries like the Sundance miniseries The Staircase.
Dole claims that an investigation turned up fraud in two of the plantation workers’ cases (though that net could become wider) and says that even though the case has been overturned, the film still depicts the plantation workers as winning.
But that case, like the film, is most likely not disappearing anytime soon.