When Banana Ruled 2017 History The saga of a handful of conquerors who built an empire in Central America and invented the methods of one of the very first multinationals. In 19th century Central America, a few entrepreneurial cowboys built an empire that enslaved populations and corrupted governments for over 100 years. The United Fruit Company thrived on unregulated capitalism; this film tells its story and that of its pioneers who feared neither God nor Man, and managed to get away with murder. Until the 1970s, that multinational set up a monopoly by combining violence, repression, corruption, environmental destruction and a formidable marketing machine. It turned an unknown fruit into an instrument of fortune and domination, and created a business model still largely used by today’s tech giants. Using a rich trove of archival footage and documents, including letters to and from lobbyists, telegrams, vintage ads and movie clips, and gorgeous, hand-tinted stills, 'When Banana Ruled' is a story of intrigue that touches on economics, international politics, the history of business and reveals how an array of forces conquered the world through a simple fruit.