Deep in the forests of Sumatra, a Finnish sea captain seeks an elusive banana. In a Kolkata kitchen, Bengali chefs prepare scrumptious banana stalk curries. As the sun blazes in Kuala Lumpur, a Chinese exorcist calls forth an evil banana spirit… Embarking on an international journey through the vibrant world of human-banana relationships, MONDO BANANA explores the personal, cultural, and environmental importance of one of the world’s favorite fruits. A delicious blend of video art and ethnographic film, MONDO BANANA turns educational filmmaking upside down with a wild medley of shadow puppetry, culinary demonstrations, exorcisms, scientific research, performance art, anthropology, underground film, and dragon-dancing that peels away the secrets of human-banana relations and celebrates the age-old connection between people and plants.
Ryan White’s award-winning documentaries have screened around the world. From 2004 to 2007, Ryan lived in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he worked for the World Wildlife Fund’s Greater Mekong Program as Film Advisor, directing eight WWF documentaries for broadcast on Vietnamese National Television (VTV). The next four years were spent living in Bangkok, Thailand, where he independently produced and directed Camp Unity (2010), Blood (2011), and Mondo Banana (2013). In 2015, he began working as the Documentary and Visual Media Instructor for the American Voices’ YES Academy Sudan project, funded by the U.S. Department of State. He is currently in Guerneville, California working on his next documentary feature.