Big Boys Gone Bananas! with Fredrik Gertten

When Fredrik Gertten made his documentary Bananas! about 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers suing Dole Fruit Company over their use of pesticides, little did he realise he’d soon be the target of a lawsuit himself.

With Bananas! set to screen at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Gertten discovered the film was being pulled from competition by the event’s organisers.

Damning articles in the press questioning Gertten’s reputation and that of the banana workers’ lawyer, and a cease-and-desist letter from Dole’s lawyers followed.

Undeterred, Gertten used his camera to track the drama as it unfolded, capturing the increasing absurdities of his legal battle.

The result is Big Boys Gone Bananas! which previews at the Cambridge Film Festival with a live Q&A with Fredrik on 19 September, and opens UK-wide on 21 September.

I caught up with Fredrik to talk about media manipulation, the power of blogs, banana boycotts, and learning legalese: