Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Film

Projecting health

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 12 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:812
  1. Colin Martin, independent consultant in healthcare communication (
  1. London

    In the annals of UK public health information films, the AIDS Monolith (1987) is perhaps the most infamous—and melodramatic. The 40 second film, shown recently at the National Film Theatre as part of a season to mark the 60th anniversary of the COI, launched the government's major campaign with the slogan “AIDS: Don't Die of Ignorance.”

    “There is now a danger that has become a threat to all of us,” intones the film's ominous opening; and it ends with a warning, reminiscent of an Old Testament prophesy, against the dangers of disregarding the leaflet about AIDS which was delivered to every UK household. The film's sexual frankness “The virus can be passed during sexual intercourse with an infected person. Anyone can get it, man or woman”, crude production values and its stark image of a mountain crumbling to reveal the words AIDS etched on a huge monolith was unprecedented. Many saw it as the Thatcher government's response for …

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