Phone in Confidence

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Details

Location

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Year

1978

Source

Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage

Format

16mm

colour

Length

52sec

Silent

sound

Courtesy

British Film Institute, Central Office of Information

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

Public Information Film, part of the campaign to restore peace in Northern Ireland. Learn how to report paramilitary activity in complete confidence with this shocking television advert by the Northern Ireland Office. Prepare to witness a bomb explosion as the Royal Ulster Constabulary make a television plea for information.

This is an early example of the advertising campaigns for peace beginning in the 1970s. The Northern Ireland Office created increasingly harrowing adverts showing the consequences of terrorism to encourage people to come forward. Broadcast on Ulster Television the confidential phone line reached an audience both sides of the border.

 

Notes

Later adverts encourage co-operation through dramatised experiences of sectarian violence. The most vivid tells the story of a son following in the paramilitary footsteps of  his father set to the soundtrack ‘Cats in the Cradle’. In the mid 1990s the tone changed with a million pound campaign to promote support for the ceasefires. These used humour, optimism and Van Morrison songs to promote mutual respect, highlighting shared suffering. “Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time?” is a stark contrast to the earlier slogans. This tradition of shocking imagery set to music continues through the DOE’s powerful drive safely adverts, now global exports. This material comes from the BFI collection.
 

Credits

Digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project.

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