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McLibel (2005)

  Directed by: Franny Armstrong, Ken Loach
Written by: Franny Armstrong
Starring: Dave Morris, Helen Steel
Links: McLibel on the IMDb, Buy on DVD
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Lacks zazz" - a review by pearly

McLibel is the little documentary about the multinational conglomerate that didn't do as well as the one that came before it, Super Size Me (2004). Where Super Size Me is bells and whistles, McLibel is grass roots. Where SSM is commercial, and staged for effect, McLibel is purely documenting the process of a couple of people's struggle to get McDonald's to admit what they believe to be lies.

The McLibel story actually began long before Morgan Spurlock made his career out of eating McFeasts. Dave Morris and Helen Steel came to McDonald's attention after distributing pamphlets with negative statements about McDonald's on them, and the corporation tried to get the pair to cease and desist. But they refused, and what followed was a ten year libel case between McDonald's highly paid lawyers, and the pair themselves, who were too broke to get themselves any real legal aid.

The documentary footage starts quite early into their fight, and is intriguing because of this. And it's fascinating that well renowned director Ken Loach is a part of this project. The things that the pair go through because they refuse to apologise or take back their statements are amazing, but unfortunately, the film itself lacks that special spark, and comes across a little too much like a lecture. I am not suggesting that documentaries all need to be like Super Size Me, because this film has more substance behind it, and is more interesting because of this, but the film itself does not stand out as spectacular, it is more just a telling of the events, where the events themselves are pretty mind blowing.

Purely for the fun of trying to put yourself into the shoes of Dave or Helen, McLibel makes an interesting watch.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 1 Aug 2006

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