g l o b a l s c r e e n i n g o f M c L i b e l
d o c u m e n t a r y: 1 2 t h J a n u a r y 1 9 9 9
"A very brave film. No wonder the main
TV channels dare not show it."
K e n L o a c h
"This cracker of a film deserves the widest exposure."
J o h n V i d a l, T he G u a r d i a n
"dramatic, inspiring, hard-hitting and heart-warming"
N e w I n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t
"This powerful film will make you think twice about
what civil liberties are worth in the corporate era"
T i m e O u t
w h a t ' s h a p p e n i n g ?
the plan is to get the film shown on every
cable/public access/alternative TV station all round
the world all at the same time. not to mention all the
cinemas, colleges, bookshops, cafes, web-streamers and
community centres out there.
a coordinated global screening might just make the
mainstream media realise that if they keep ignoring
the important stories they'll soon be obsolete.
(well, perhaps not soon, but you know what we mean).
if between us we could get it shown in, say, thirty
countries, it would reach an audience any broadcaster
would be proud of.
the date of the screening will be on or around Tuesday
January 12th 1999. this is the day that the McLibel
defendants return to the High Court to start their
appeal against the verdict and so the press will be
popping in to cover the trial again. the appeal will
help get press for the global screening and vice versa.
w h a t c a n I d o ?
* please get in touch if you are able to hold
a screening of the film. we can supply tapes,
flyers, posters, press releases and anything
else you might need - including interviews with
the director and/ or defendants if you like.
we do not charge for people to screen the film -
unless they are making a profit from it - but
do ask for postage & reproduction costs.
* please pass this message on to everyone you
know who runs a TV station/ cafe/
satellite link/ whatever. also post it to
relevant newsgroups and mailing lists.
* send us any and all suggestions for increasing
coverage and publicity.
* let us know if you would like to be kept up
with progress - or if you never want to hear
from us again.
w h y i s n ' t i t o n T V ?
Proposed transmissions in the UK on both the BBC
('Heart of the Matter') and Channel 4 were blocked
by their respective legal departments. Both companies
have been threatened with legal action by McDonald's
in the past, along with more than 90 other
organisations in the UK. The film has been
given the all-clear by the production's independent
media lawyer and the trial has been covered extensively
in other countries - in the US it was the subject of
a special '60 Minutes' report. It looks as
though the film will never be shown on British TV.
The film is being distributed the new way: as
'streaming video' on the Internet, on cable TV in the
States, at international film festivals, on home video,
at local video screenings and by a travelling
solar-powered cinema. Negotiations are under way
with mainstream TV stations in countries with less
archaic libel laws.
w a t c h i t o n t h e w e b
The full 55 minute documentary can be watched as
streaming video at: www.spanner.org/mclibel/film/vdo
Thanks to FreeSpeech TV (www.freespeech-tv.org)
for digitising it for us.
s y n o p s i s o f t h e f i l m
'McLibel: Two Worlds Collide' is the inside story of
the single father and the part-time bar worker
who took on the McDonald's Corporation.
Filmed over three years, the documentary follows
Helen Steel and Dave Morris as the anonymous campaigners
turn into unlikely global heroes. Struggling to defend
themselves in the longest trial in English history,
they face infiltration by spies, secret meetings with
corporate executives, 40,000 pages of background reading
and a visit from Ronald McDonald.
The 52-minute documentary uses interviews with
witnesses and reconstructions of key moments
in court (directed by Ken Loach) to examine the
main issues in the trial (nutrition, advertising,
employment, animals, environment), as well as the
implications for freedom of speech.
McLibel is not about hamburgers. It is about
remorseless power of multinational corporations.
Worth six years of your life?
Running time: 52 minutes
Production company: One-Off Productions Ltd.
w h a t h a p p e n e d i n t h e t r i a l?
On June 19th 1997, after the longest trial in English
history, Justice Bell delivered a mixed verdict. He
ruled that McDonald's "exploit children" with their
advertising, are "culpably responsible" for cruelty to
animals, deceptively advertise their food as nutritious
and pay their workers low wages. But he also ruled in
their favour on other points (notably rainforests and
diet & disease) and awarded damages of £60,000.
McDonald's abandoned plans to claim their money - or
to obtain an injunction stopping distribution of the
libellous material - after the impoverished defendants,
who had represented themselves, vowed to go to jail if
necessary. Half a million 'What's Wrong With McDonald's?'
leaflets were distributed by the defendants' supporters
post-verdict. The 'McSpotlight' internet site (dedicated
to the trial and McDonald's) has now been accessed more
than 40 million times.
More information: www.mcspotlight.org
t o o r d e r a V H S
Price: 12.99 (waged), £9.99 (unwaged)
P & P: £2 (UK), £4 (Europe), £6 (world)
Format: PAL (UK) or NTSC (USA)
Please send a cheque for the total
amount,including P & P, in pounds
sterling, made payable to
'One-Off Productions' to:
London WC1N 3XX. UK
Don't forget to indicate which format
you require and to include your name
US customers, and anyone preferring
to pay in dollars, please contact
our US distributors:
PO Box 10165
PA 16805 - 0165
more info, including an order form
to print: www.spanner.org/mclibel/
Trade discounts available.
more info about the film at: www.spanner.org/mclibel