“It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than a bad reputation.” These are the words of the public relations company for Dole as the multinational launched a vicious smear and attack campaign against Fredrik Gertten for his film Bananas, chronicling the lawsuit of 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers against the company.
The film was selected for competition by and was set to premier at the Los Angeles Film Festival, until Dole’s attorney threatened Gertten with legal action. Being a true documentarian Gertten made another film, this one capturing his fight for free speech. The film Big Boys Gone Bananas is a gritty portrayal of this David versus Goliath match and will be shown Saturday afternoon at the eighth annual No Boundaries Film Club presentation of the Traveling World Community Film Festival, British Columbia’s longest running international social issues film festival.
The festival opens Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. with the film Hooked on Growth, by Dave Gardner, which explores the cultural and paradigm challenges facing the growth of a sustainable society and closes on Feb. 24 with the 3:00 p.m. film, Sing Your Song, winner of the Most Popular Non Fiction Film Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival. This film, by Susanne Rostock, portrays the life of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte, yeah he’s still relevant, and at 85 is still a social activist.
In between are 12 other films, a heady and stimulating mix of uplifting tales, Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work by Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young; science/hope/education, Symphony of the Soil, by Deborah Koons Garcia, with impressive cinematography and music; Edible City by Andrew Hasse and Carl Grether, about local food sustainability; Bidder 70, Beth and George Gage, which centres on an ingenious and effective method of civil disobedience and is the winner of Best American Film, Traverse City Film Festival.
What documentary film festival would be worth its salt without that perennial filmmaker Velcrow Ripper. Ripper’s Occupy Love, a film documenting the global revolution of the heart, won Best Canadian Feature at the Planet in Focus Festival. So you see, here is a doc film buff’s fix.
Documentary films are meant to educate, inspire action, and most important, show that everyone in this global community is more similar than we are different. We share the soil, air, water and core values.
They also show us just how fortunate we are to be alive on this beautiful planet. We all want a stable secure environment in which to live, raise families, play and interact nicely with other members of the species - simple.
Sure the genre also exists to show us life isn’t without its challenges and that it is our duty to be vigilant and help to re-educate those who display misguided and destructive actions. As the saying goes, “Ad astra per asperum (aspera), or through hardship to the stars. There will be films that some can interpret as being emotionally oppressive but how one feels after a film is a matter of choice. If you are not up to the challenge of feeling inspired by a film choose more uplifting ones, there usually are a number of them.
As usual the Boundary Peace Initiative (BPI) will be serving up those incredibly delicious lunches for which they have become renowned Saturday and Sunday. To be honest the BPI food events are half the fun of the weekend. The Festival will be held at the Grand Forks High School and tickets are available at the door only.
A Festival pass is $20, students and low income $10; per session (morning, afternoon, evening) $5 and $3. There are programmes at some establishments around Grand Forks.
For more information or a copy of the programme e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org