Dole sues “Bananas!” filmmaker, alleges defamation
LOS ANGELES — Dole Foods has filed a defamation lawsuit against a Swedish filmmaker for insisting on showing his documentary “Bananas!” at the Los Angeles Film Festival after learning it was based on a fraud.
Wednesday’s lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction barring Fredrik Gertten from showing the film in public again. It accuses him of “actual malice” for ignoring a court ruling that the case on which the film was based had been part of a massive extortion plot against Dole by attorney Juan J. Dominguez, the star of the film.
“Bananas!” documents the alleged plight of Nicaraguan workers who say they were made sterile by a pesticide used at Dole banana plantations in the 1970s. The documentary was completed before the fraud was uncovered showing that the men were recruited by Dominguez to lie.