Banana Split

The banana is the cheapest fruit you can buy in Canada at any time of the year and Canadians eat approximately 3 billion bananas a year. In Canadian supermarkets bananas account for over 10% of total sales in the produce section and 1% of total sales. All this despite the fact that the nearest plantation is 5000 kilometers away and the banana is the most perishable fruit on our store shelves. Banana Split takes the viewer on a journey that begins with the hustle and bustle of a fruit market in Thunder Bay, Ontario and ends up with an examination of the daily challenges of life in Honduras. In addition to being a popular fruit in Canada, bananas are used as a staple food in more than 100 tropical and sub-tropical countries.
In the developing world, bananas rank behind rice, wheat and corn as the most important staple food crops. Filmed in Canada, the United States, Honduras and France, Banana Split explores the North/South split between Canadian consumers and the people whose lives revolve around the “curvaceous fruit from the herbaceous plant.”

Banana Split is a winner!

Banana Split is the 2005 award winner for the “Best Feature Length Documentary” at the Latin America Environmental Media Festival in New Orleans, and it is also the 2004 winner of the Canadian International Development Agency’s Deborah Fletcher Award of Excellence in Filmmaking on International Development. In addition, Banana Split was honoured by being included in the 2003 Ökomedia – International Environmental Film Festival traveling tour of Germany and by being selected for the Traveling World Community Film Festival. Banana Split is also a core element in the Global Education Network’s teaching module on bananas. Teachers can follow the links below to find a Global Education curriculum developed for the Ontario grade 12 Canadian and World Issues course. For the English version of this module see “Bananas Unpeeled” and for the French version see Les Bananes Toutes Crues. These modules and Banana Stories/Histoires de Bananes can also be used by anyone interested in using the banana as point of discussion for globalization and related topics.


Every copy of the video comes with a guide for teachers. The guide suggests ways in which the video can be used in class. Contact Shebandowan Films for more information about the Banana Split and the guide for teachers. In addition to the guide, you can access Banana Stories/Histoires de Bananes online.
Teachers are also urged to visit the Global Education Network / Le Réseau de l’éducation globale website where Banana Split is a core element in the teaching module on bananas. For the English version of this module see “Bananas Unpeeled” and for the French version see Les Bananes Toutes Crues.
Banana Split est disponible en Français

Screenings and Festivals

2010 Environmental Film Festival of Accras (Ghana)

2005 Latin American Environmental Media Festival (New Orleans)

2004 Calgary International Film Festival

2003 Ökomedia – International Environmental Film Festival (Germany)

2003 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

2003 World Community Film Festival

2003 Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival

2003 Travelling World Community Film Festival

2003 Social Justice Film Festival

2003 Global Community Film Festival

2003 Festival du Film de L’Outaouais

2002 One World Film Festival

2002 Vancouver Amnesty International Film Festival
Banana Split can also be seen on Canadian Learning Television


Producer: Ron Harpelle

Directors: Kelly Saxberg & Ron Harpelle

Editor: Kelly Saxberg

Writer: Bob Lower

Camera: Richard Stringer

Music: Danny Johnson


Canadian International Development Agency / Agence canadienne de développement international (CIDA)
International Development Research Centre / Centre de recherches pour le développement international
Patrimoine canadiene / Canadian Heritage
International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain
Global Education Network / Le Réseau de l’éducation globale
Fairtrade Canada
International Banana Club and Museum
Oxfam Canada

One Response to Banana Split

  1. André Champagne says:

    Wonderful film. I use in my 4th year class – Communication and International Development – in both French and English.

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