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  • Writer's pictureBanana Truth

Bananas on Film

Our film will belong to a legacy of great banana films.

“We owe it to each other to tell stories.” – Neil Gaiman  

Growing up, from our crib to our oldest days, we are constant listeners and tellers of stories; bed-time stories, family stories, scary, short, inspirational or informative stories, creations of someone’s imagination or memories. And they all have an effect on us; some for a night or a week, some for our childhood, a few for our whole life. The power of storytelling is not just a figure of speech. Research has shown that it affects communication through various neurological pathways [1]. We place a piece of ourselves in every story we hear, and it is thus easier to emotionally connect and engage with it.

‍The effects of storytelling on our brain. Source:

Documentaries are by definition a way to tell stories; stories about people, events and often situations not visible to everyone’s eyes. And a reality well hidden from the eyes of Western society is the one of the banana industry. You’ve probably heard it already; bananas as we know them are threatened with extinction. But their story is way darker than the fear of losing a fruit from our lunch box. Film makers have tried in the past to spread light on the banana world. First in 2009, the team of ‘Bananas!*’ followed the lawsuit of 12 Nicaraguan banana workers against Dole Food Corporation, asserting that these men were sterile due to the effect of the pesticides used at the plantations. Before even the first screening of the film, the creators are being sued by Dole Food for defamation (for more info see [2]). Two years later, the film makers create a more personal film: ‘Big Boys Gone Bananas!*’, in order to share their legal battle and show the means by which a big corporation is trying to protect its brand [3].

 Then comes ‘Banana Land’ [4], a powerful documentary about the black market underlying the banana industry. With the subtitle ‘Blood, Bullets & Poison’, the film uncovers the violent and hidden reality that banana workers and their families are experiencing. From mass assassinations and rapes to paramilitary terrorist activities, the film explains the grounds upon which the banana economy has been built and keeps standing even until today.

‍The logo of the movie 'Banana Land ' (2013) [4]

In our film ‘Bananageddon’, we wish to make a step forward. With an environmental approach to the issue, we wish to show the effect of the current system on both biodiversity and local communities. We aim to focus on small independent producers, new banana varieties and alternative agricultural solutions like agroforestry [5]. All in order to try and show a way to rebuild the banana industry away from blood and death, from monocultures and big industries, and put it into the hands of the communities that base their lives around these plants.  

"We don’t want bananas to end up a horror story of the past."

We believe in the power of story-telling. And we don’t want bananas to end up a horror story of the past, for the next generations to only imagine. We want to make it a success story about alternatives choices. About ways to work with nature, not against it. Ways to help biodiversity and people living in a reality really different from ours. And most importantly, ways to provide a future; a sustainable future where bananas can still have a place on our table. Are you going to help us build the community that will achieve that?

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman

By Marina Papadopoulou


[1] Stephens, Greg J., Lauren J. Silbert, and Uri Hasson. "Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.32 (2010): 14425-14430.  

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