• Sweden edition
 
Swedish MPs back filmmaker's battle with US food giant

Swedish MPs back filmmaker's battle with US food giant

Published: 01 Oct 2009 17:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Oct 2009 17:37 GMT+02:00

The film, Bananas!*, is billed as “The film Dole doesn’t want you to see” and depicts efforts by Los Angeles trial lawyer Juan Dominguez to represent fruit workers allegedly made sterile after Dole sprayed them with a banned pesticide.

Dole recently filed a lawsuit against Fredrik Gertten, the Swedish filmmaker behind the movie, claiming the film is inaccurate and defamatory toward the company.

The food giant was also successful in blocking a previously scheduled screening of the film in Los Angeles.

Dole’s actions caused two Swedish parliamentarians, Mats Johansson of the Moderate Party and Social Democrat Luciano Astudillo, to schedule a screening of the film in a show of support for Gertten.

Following the showing, a petition circulated through the packed house urging Dole to drop their lawsuit.

Among those in attendance was attorney Percy Bratt, current chair of the Swedish Helsinki Commission, who expressed his support for the film and its creators.

“It’s not just hot air or empty rhetoric from my side. We can’t accept that filmmakers are silenced in this way,” he told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

“Besides, the film is really good and gives the underprivileged a chance to have their criticism of a big company heard, so this is really about the heart of freedom of speech, one of the most sacred parts of our constitution, and something that all politicians, lawyers, and journalists need to support.”

In its lawsuit, Dole requests that the Bananas!* be banned and that Gertten be prohibited from commenting on the company, a set of demands that Moderate Riksdag member Hans Wallmark finds hard to accept.

“It’s not even about Dole,” he said of the film to DN.

“But through their lawsuit against the films creators Dole has done itself a disservice.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:27 October 1, 2009 by Atlas
The best PR ever: Company sues filmmaker, his film gets prime time everywhere and it's practically free on news around the world :).

No money could have done that better.
21:01 October 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
Wow what a surprise, the article (or probably the film) does not mention how the law firm recruited as many people as they could to testify in court (to increase the class action status, and the payout). Or how they had South American doctors file fraudulent reports on their behalf. Or how it was found out the law firm coached the workers to lie under oath to gather sympathy. Oddly all these facts are missing. Dont get me wrong companies' actions have hurt employees (usually in the poorer parts of the world) but it is disgusting how these sleazy law firms fraudulently increase the "victims" just to increase the settlement payout.

The same thing will happen with the Shell lawsuit. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people will be gathered to testify. Many will have never been harmed by the company, but the promise of free money will lure them, and the law firm will get extra tens of millions of dollars, all for a little white lie. No one gets hurt, well except those working for the company who are laid off due to the financial strains, oh and the workers that actually WERE harmed and have to accept a much smaller settlement due to the freeloaders. Sick that this movie promotes this.
21:26 October 1, 2009 by frey
i wish i could see the film, but i guess in the us business interests come first, just like a colonial trading company should be run.
04:39 October 2, 2009 by crunchy2k
Comment: Hmmm... What we have here is a film that was made to bolster a frivolous lawsuit by a sleazy L.A. tort lawyer, Juan Dominguez. We have a court ordered injunction from the California judge that tossed the frivolous case out.

From the letter sent to the Swedish MPs from Dole Foods:

[Bold type added]

Bananas trailer posted before the bottom fell out from under sleazy tort lawyer Juan Dominguez and his tool, Fredrik Gertten... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VYPQ6jJKWY
11:43 October 2, 2009 by bubbagump
So the govt. can support journalists, but not criticize. Interesting. If the excuse by Rhiney was that the govt. can't interfere one way or the other, how is it they are wading into this issue. Typical, typical, typical. Can't have your tårta and eat it too.
00:06 October 3, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Bingo Bubba.

The blatanty hypocrisy is amazing. I guess being smug is what matters most.
22:58 October 3, 2009 by DamnImmigrant
Right On Mr. Gump!

I now would really like to know EXACTLY WHAT the government's rights and responsibilities are when it comes to the PRESS!

Does PRESS only mean WRITTEN information and therefore the government can say ANYTHING they want concerning the other press media???

Enquiring Minds Want To Know!
11:50 October 4, 2009 by crunchy2k
Well technically, Fredrik is not a journalist but a fiction filmmaker. That's what his contemporaries think. So, it might be okay to support him at the government level. Not smart though. Only Fredrik thinks his film is real and that he is a journalist.

From a story written by Amanda Bronstad at The National Law Journal, dated July 9, 2009:

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202...&hbxlogin=1
12:19 October 4, 2009 by crunchy2k
Fixed URL: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202432115420

Text Quote:

"On June 20, the Los Angeles Film Festival provided a written statement to audience members saying that "there seems to be little question that the version of reality that the film portrays does not match the reality that emerged in the courtroom ... Nor, given what we now know, do we believe that Bananas! -- in its present form -- presents a fair and accurate account of Juan Dominguez and the Tellez trial," according to the complaint."
Today's headlines
Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

Sweden Floods
More rain expected as floods hit day four
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

More rain expected as floods hit day four

UPDATED: Sweden's floods showed no signs of abating over Thursday night, with highways closed, emergency teams working overtime, and more rain on the way. READ  

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans
An Ikea city centre store in Hamburg. Photo: TT

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened its first store in the former Yugoslavia, near Croatia's capital Zagreb. The move marks the company's first step in an expansion to the Balkans market. READ  

Elections 2014
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'

With national elections around the corner, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren says there's a hive of activity behind the scenes, and that the right-wing nationalist party could end up being the key player. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

706
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se