Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  85 minutes
Date:  2005
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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The new feature-length version and final chapter in the saga of the postman and the gardener who took on McDonald's. And won.


McLIBEL is the story of two ordinary people who humbled McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

McDonald's loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organizations like the BBC and The Guardian crumbled and apologized. Then they sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris. In the longest trial in English legal history, the 'McLibel Two' represented themselves against McDonald's #10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation's business was cross-examined: from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children. Outside the courtroom, Dave brought up his young son alone and Helen supported herself working nights in a bar. McDonald's tried every trick in the book against them. Legal maneuvers. A visit from Ronald McDonald. Top executives flying to London for secret settlement negotiations. Even spies.

Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise - especially the British Government.

McLIBEL is not about hamburgers. It is about the importance of freedom of speech now that multinational corporations are more powerful than countries.

Filmed over ten years by no-budget Director Franny Armstrong, McLIBEL is the David and Goliath story of two people who refused to say sorry. And in doing so, changed the world.

'An irresistible David and Goliath tale...you can't help but cheer along' - Seattle Times

'Hilarious and engrossing' - BBC

'Freedom of speech rarely tasted so satisfying' - The (London) Times

'Truly, hilariously dramatic' - SF Weekly

'Twists the dagger in McDonald's clogged arteries' - Orlando Sentinel

'Complex and fascinating' - CBS News

'Dynamite' - Yahoo Movies

'Will make you think twice about what civil liberties are worth in the corporate era...Powerful.' - Time Out

'Alarming, but ultimately inspiring' - Variety

'Satisfies both head and heart' - Time Out

'Kind of legendary' - E-Insiders

'Absolutely unmissable' - The Guardian (UK)

' * * * * An intriguing, important documentary. Don't miss it. ' - Todd David Schwartz, CBS Radio

'A racing plot with more twists than a John le Carre novel...the perfect 21st century narrative...a wonderfully human tale about two people who simply refused to say sorry and in doing so they changed the world. Brilliant.' - Bermuda Sun Newspaper

'Inspirational...Absorbing.' - Chicago Reader

'Will make you think twice about what civil liberties are worth in the corporate era...Powerful.' - Time Out

'I learnt more from this film - and laughed much more - than I did in Super Size Me.' - Nick Fraser, BBC Storyville Series editor

'An often-hilarious expose of big business arrogance and an extraordinary example of independent filmmaking.' - Sydney Morning Herald

'Absolute nonchalance and great pizzazz...Dynamite.' - IndieWire

'Dramatic, inspiring, hard-hitting and heart-warming' - New Internationalist


Nominated for Best British Documentary, British Independent Film Awards
Nominated for Best Newcomer, Grierson Awards
Best of Festival, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
Winner, Athens International Film and Video Festival
Spirit of Activism Award, Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Vermont International Film Festival
Israel Eco Cinema
Global Issues Film Festival, Mott Community College


Main credits

Armstrong, Franny (Producer)
Armstrong, Franny (Director)

Other credits

Editors, David G. Hill, Gregers Sall; cameras, Franny Armstrong ... [et al.]; original music, Chris Brierley ... [et al.].

Distributor credits

Spanner Films

Spanner Films
Franny Armstrong
Editors: David G. Hill, Gregers Sall
Drama Director: Ken Loach
Executive Producer: Peter Armstrong
Music: Band of Holy Joy, Chris Brierley

Docuseek2 subjects

Law and Legal Studies
Citizenship, Social Movements and Activism
Animals and Animal Rights
Business Ethics
Public Health
Media Literacy

Distributor subjects

Animal Rights
Business Practices
Food And Nutrition
Forests and Rainforests
Local Economies
Marketing and Advertising
Media Literacy


postman, gardener, McDonald's, PR, UK libel laws, BBC, The Guardian, Helen Steel, Dave Morris, junk food, McJobs, animal cruelty, environmental damage, advertising to children, Ronald McDonald, European Court of Human Rights, freedom of speech, multinational corporations, Franny Armstrong; "McLibel"; Bullfrog Films

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