Pineapple (Ananas)

1983 | Documentary | Runtime 78' | 16 mm | Colour


1 VHS Secam
K-Films (France)
Subtitles: French
Coffret Amos Gitai
7 DVD PAL Zone 2
StudioCanal (France)
Subtitles: French

World sales / Distribution

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"One day, when I opened my refrigerator, I looked closely at a can of pineapple. It had been "made in the Philippines," "packaged in Honolulu," "distributed in San Francisco" and the label "printed in Japan". This was a concrete illustration of the multinational economy... Pineapple is a little like House: a microcosm that allows me to tell a story and deal with the issue of the Third Word." (Amos Gitai)

"In its formal construction, it is an arousing challenge to conventional documentary modes. Importantly, the success of the exposé is intimately connected to the challenge of its form. From the first interview with a Dole Corporation agronomist, framed asymmetrically in an armchair, redundantly illustrating his poolside lecture with a still-life of tropical fruit, to the concluding detail of labelling machinery receding into the middle distance of the frame, it is apparent that Pineapple is about much more than story-telling, observation or explanation. Its considerable power arises not through the prevailing forms of investigative journalism, ciné-verité observation or even agitprop, but through challenging the claims for veracity, transparency and objectivity made for these modes of film making by their supporters. Pineapple eschews the ethnocentric voice-over narration and voyeuristic camera characteristic of ethnographic films, for instance, by giving its many interviewees the luxury of time to speak for themselves rather than, as is more customary, being spoken 'on behalf of'. But they do not escape the camera's critical eye. (...) Director Amos Gitai's strategy is neither to ridicule nor to sanction his subjects. Rather, it is to undermine the security of the audience in the transparency of what is said and seen, to encourage scrutiny of what they represent rather than judgement about the kind of people they are. The effect is to read, as it were, the interviews rather than the people as symptoms of the complex unequal First/Third World relation. (...) Pineapple's mixture of history lessons, personal testimony and breathtaking images is complex but strategically key to the task of teasing apart the tangled strands of global domination."
David Lusted, Framework, n°29, 1985

"Gitai is among the few filmmakers engaged in rethinking social documentary. (...) "I wish to show the structures that oppress people", he says - structures being the operative word. (...) The subjects in Gitai's documentaries are less individuals than individualised embodiments of predetermined roles - their sites defined by the flow of history and international capital".
Jim Hoberman, The Village Voice

Cinematography Nurith Aviv Sound Kevin Gallagher Editing Juliana Sanchez Line producer(s) Kevin Gallagher Production Les Films d'ici (France), FR3 (France), A.G. Productions (Israel), TV1 (Sweden), Ikon (The Netherlands), TV2 (Finland)