Bananas!*Fredrik Gertten, 88 min, Sweden.
BANANAS!* is a suspenseful, layer-peeling, court room drama chronicle contextualized within the global politics of food and First vs. Third world dynamics.
Directed by Fredrik Gertten, Sweden’s pre-eminent documentarian and investigative journalist, BANANAS!* focuses on a slippery fact trail and a landmark and highly controversial legal case pitting a dozen Nicaraguan plantation workers against Dole Food Corporation and its alleged usage of a deadly banned pesticide and its probable link to generations of sterilized workers.
Central to both the film and case is Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez, a Los Angeles-based personal injury attorney who, although iconic within the Latino community for his ubiquitous billboard ads, is unquestionably facing the biggest case and challenge in his career.
As the legal representation on the first Nicaraguan sterility case to be tried in US courts, Dominguez and his colleague, Duane C. Miller, are breaking new ground. Theirs is a bellwether case: The first of thousands of cases awaiting trial in Nicaragua and the first legal case where foreign farm workers were allowed to testify against an American multinational corporation before a full jury on U.S. soil. At stake are the futures of generations of workers, their families as well as the culture of global, multinational business.
This case has been followed by experts and companies all over the world. If Dominguez is successful, it could rock the economic foundations of Dole and Dow, and would open the US courts to other global victims of US-based multinationals. It would represent a new day in international justice, and there are further cases of a similar nature coming up next in many jurisdictions.
BANANAS!* is a court room drama covering the case of the 12 Nicaraguan banana workers who have sued Dole in what has become one of the most controversial trials. Cameras inside the court and interviews with Dominguez and the plaintiffs take the audience directly to the story.