Bitter Lake on iPlayer

BBC iPlayer did something new last Sunday when it exclusively released a new documentary film by Adam Curtis. [Bitter Lake] ( will be available for the next 29 days and was made using 40 years worth of unedited footage, uncovered by cameraman Phil Goodwin in Kabul, and given to Curtis. Curtis told the Guardian, “No one was really interested at the BBC, but he gave them to me about two years ago and I’ve been going through them. They’re wonderful, amazing. And I just realised that you could make a film out of the footage, one that actually captured the reality of the experience there. Not of everything. But it gives you a sense of how complex, strange and knowing the Afghans are.”

Curtis employed a video art technique to make an immersive two and a half hour film. This is journalism with a rambling dream like quality which you wouldn’t normally associate with BBC journalism, and he explains how making the film for iPlayer rather than mainstream TV, allowed him a freedom to experiment with an unrestrained format - a format which he believes reveals something about the potential dangers of over packaging complex world news stories for easy public consumption.