This film is part of Free

Aids - Iceberg

Simple and devastatingly effective, John Hurt narrates a key advert from Sammy Harari’s 1986 AIDS awareness campaign.

Public Information Filler 1987 1 mins


Falling icebergs inscribed with the words ‘AIDS’ crash into the ocean, accompanied by John Hurt’s doom-laden voiceover. With its simple and iconic imagery this was public information film at its most sensational: expensive special effects and high-concept production design brought public information filmmaking into the realm of state-of-the-art corporate advertising.

The film was the result of a £5 million cinema and television campaign aimed at combating the growing spread of HIV and AIDS. With restrictions around the overt promotion of condom use on television and a growing chorus of moral campaigners promulgating their own agenda, the straightforward and doom-laded approach was probably the only viable option for campaign mastermind Sammy Harari. But the result was a hard-hitting and memorable campaign which undoubtedly fulfilled its brief of pervading public consciousness. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.