FREDRIK GERTTEN IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S FOREMOST DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS!
HE NEEDS YOUR HELP
WITH HIS NEW
HE NEEDS IT NOW!
Report By Greg Klymkiw
I've written about Fredrik Gertten on numerous occasions.
When I saw his terrifying, harrowing, but ultimately uplifting film BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS, I was convinced I had seen the work of a genuine filmmaker - an artist of the highest order and though, he refuses to think of himself this way, one of the world's most important activists.
Gertten is making an important NEW film: In his own words:
"Bikes vs Cars is not only a film, we are a part of a global movement. This feature-length documentary, a work-in-progress aiming for 2014 release, is meant to be used an engine for all of us that think change is needed and possible. The film will investigate the politics that keep the car model thriving. Here's a peak into the synopsis:
There’s an ongoing war: bikes vs cars. A multi-billion dollar industry that from early days has done everything to make society car dependent. Hundreds of billions of dollars are invested every year to sell the dream of car freedom. Now, oil prices and traffic gridlock have opened up room for bicycle revenge. Creative initiatives pop up, politicians and activists take on the mighty car. The car lobbyists have an enormous impact on city planning, in history and today. Do politicians dare to challenge the lobbyists?
Gertten has so far raised just under $23,000 of a $50,000 goal.
He has a mere 15 days to make the goal.
There are few filmmakers out there I would advocate for in this way: Fredrik Gertten is one of them.
He makes great films, BUT, they also INSPIRE CHANGE!!!
During the 2012 Hot Docs Film Festival I wrote the following:
"In the summer of 2009 I became aware of a curious case wherein Fredrik Gertten, a documentary filmmaker from Sweden (along with his producing partners) was being sued by the Dole corporate fruit bats and that the Los Angeles Film Festival had yanked his film Bananas*! out of official competition and relegated it to a special screening.
The internet media coverage I read - even at the time - seemed slanted against the filmmaker and his expose of Dole's exploitation of fruit workers in Nicaragua. Sounded to me like the Dreaded Dole Dandies were irresponsibly and knowingly using pesticides that caused sterility in numerous men working the fields.
My response to this was typical - of me! I scoured the cupboards to see if there were any cans or packages with the Dole label. Thank Christ, there were none - nor were there any fresh fruits in the fridge.
I hate throwing out food, but I would have anyway. From that day on, I have never purchased anything with Dole's name attached to it. Without knowing more than the seemingly spurious accounts in the articles about the lawsuit, I sided with the filmmaker - AGAINST Dole.
They're a corporation, after all. A multi-national corporation at that. I simply have no use for such entities. As far as I'm concerned, they're all criminals - organized criminals.
What sickened me even more than the attack by Dole upon an artist's God-Given right to free speech was the appalling behaviour of the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF). A film festival - no matter how big, small or (in the case of the LAFF) inconsequential - has a duty to ALWAYS support artists. End of story. No arguments allowed. Anyone who disagrees can crawl back into whatever pro-censorship-anti-free-speech slime pit of fascism they crawled out of. Hopefully, I won't see you in Hell as I had to renounce Satan at my Godson Illya's christening some time ago.
So, I finally saw Bananas*!. It's a powerful, shocking and moving film about Dole's corporate irresponsibility to its own workers. A few days later, I watched Gertten's new picture, Big Boys Gone Bananas!* and I am so happy he made this film.
From a personal standpoint, it says and exposes the truth behind everything I believe in about American (and by extension, Canadian) imperialist corporate culture - how most governments, politicians and bureaucrats are mere pawns and puppets in "democracies" that are little more than corporate-owned totalitarian states.
That mainstream media is becoming increasingly useless.
That the notion that free speech exists is drastically diminishing.
And last, but not least, the idiotic hoops a filmmaker must go through to protect themselves from nuisance suits launched by corporate scumbags.
All of this is simply beyond the pale.
Once he was slapped with a huge lawsuit from Dole, Gertten wisely began to document his struggle on film. What he captures is borderline surreal."
A few weeks later, I wrote the following words specifically in reference to Big Boys Gone Bananas:
"The feelings engendered by the great paranoid thrillers of 70s American Cinema are alive and well again - crackling with the same terror, dread and mounting odds against one man or a handful of individuals who are fighting oppressive, almost dystopian, virtually Orwellian dark forces.
The difference, though, is that our central figure is NOT Warren Beatty in Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View, stumbling upon a corporation devoted to political assassination.
Our protagonist is NOT Donald Sutherland's Department of Health bureaucrat in Philip Kaufman's brilliant re-working of Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers where under the creepy spire of San Francisco's Trans-America tower he battles the ultimate scourge upon the human race.
Nor are we watching Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman playing Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein in All The President's Men (Pakula again), skulking about dark underground parking lots in search of the truth behind the Watergate conspiracy.
The 70s paranoid thriller has, in fact, been reborn in Fredrik Gertten's stunning documentary feature Big Boys Gone Bananas!* and in spite of the title, and though the movie features absurdity of the most extreme kind, we are also not dealing with a Will Ferrell comedy.
This is a straight-up mystery thriller. That said, it's a true story. And what we see is what was actually happening to the film's central figure - Gertten himself - a documentary filmmaker embroiled in the dark, nasty manipulations of an evil corporate entity - the Dole Corporation."
PLEASE VISIT FREDRIK'S
FOR MORE INFO HERE!
WATCH FREDRIK'S FILM ABOUT THE INVISIBLE BIKE HELMET. YOU CAN GET ONE WITH A PLEDGE. WATCH THE MOVIE HERE.
READ MY ORIGINAL INTERVIEW AND REVIEW OF FREDRIK'S WORK HERE
And for all my friends, colleagues and fans who know how rabidly anti-bike I am, you might wonder why I am supporting this film myself.
#1 I am anti-stupid-assholes-who-ride-bikes-and-do-not-obey-the-rules-of-the-road.
#2 I am anti-government-regulations-that-equate-any-moving-vehicles-on-the-road-as-pedestrians-instead-of-treating-them-as-vehicles-that-need-to-be-insured-and-need-to-adhere-to-the-same-rules-and-standards.
#3 I am anti-stupid-design-of-bike-lanes-designed-by-idiots-who-could-not-design-anything-never-mind-something-that-importantly-affects-everyone. I have not been on a bike since 1975.
Perhaps Fredrik will change my mind.
What I KNOW he will do is make a GREAT FUCKING MOVIE.
That's all I really care about.