In February 2005, the longest civil or criminal case in English legal history finally came to a close. The case saw two political activists, Helen Steel and Dave Morris, on trial for leaflets they had distributed in the 1980s, which made several claims against the McDonalds fast food Corporation. Among the angry protestations they flung at McDonalds were accusations of low wages for staff and poor treatment towards the animals used by the business. As McDonalds prepared a legal assault on the couple that is estimated to have cost nineteen million U.S. Dollars, the penniless Steel and Morris endlessly poured over legal papers and law books, and decided to represent themselves in court. After 313 days spent tirelessly fighting their corner and ceaselessly pointing out the archaic nature of Britain's libel laws, a verdict was reached. Fortunately director Franny Armstrong caught 10 years worth of the 'McLibel' trial on film, and has edited it into an absorbing documentary on the case. Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Loach has also contributed by directing some reconstructions of the key courtroom battles. Armstrong's film manages to capture all the highs and lows felt by Steel and Morris as they refuse to let go of their principals while facing a deluge of intimidating manoeuvres from the McDonalds team. But 'McLibel' also demonstrates how large corporations can be humbled, and as the case winds to its surprising conclusion, Armstrong perfectly captures the mood of both teams as legal history is made.
'The Controversial Leaflet That McDonalds Did Not Want You To Read', Commentaries from Director Franny Armstrong, Drama Director Ken Loach, Helen Steel, David Morris and David's son Charlie
Release Date: 20 February 2006
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification
Running Time: 325 minutes
Main Language: English