Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gaddafi: The End Game

Doha, Qatar, 14 December 2011:

Premiering on 22 December 2011, State of Denial ends Al Jazeera English’s series on Libya, Gaddafi: The End Game. It starts screening just before Libya celebrates 60 years of independence on 24 December 2011.

Produced and directed by Anne Reevell (Moonbeam Films) and executive produced by South African Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA winner Jon Blair, State of Denial explains in forensic detail why the Libyan downfall was not straightforward and examines why, in spite of little public support and a massive international military assault, Gaddafi managed to hang on to power for as long as he did.

The documentary charts the disintegration of Gaddafi’s brutal regime through the accounts of the insiders, defectors and military advisers who helped bring it about. State of Denial includes for the first time on-the-record interviews with many senior figures of the revolution, including National Transitional Council leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, one of the first defectors; Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the Islamist revolutionary leader re-indicted by the US; and Brigadier General Abdel Salam al-Hasi, the head of the new Libyan army.

There are also frank interviews with Britain’s Libyan adviser to the Prime Minister, Brigadier General Robin Searby, who in a series of exclusive interviews reveals that getting Gaddafi “got personal.” In an interview in April, Searby said it was too early for hindsight. “But I firmly believe he (Gaddafi) will never go. The revolution, the Green Book, is his whole life. Unless he is bombed out, it is the people around him who will have to get rid of him.”

State of Denial reveals the way that the Libyans grouped Britain among these inner-circle defectors. The documentary describes the panic inside the regime after February’s protests in Benghazi were put down, revealing the desperate attempts to get messages from Tripoli to Downing Street. It chronicles the regime’s disbelief that the British had deserted them and reveals messages sent by a senior Libyan military aide, saying that it wasn’t their fault “a peaceful demonstration had been used as a tool to carry out an evil plot to create chaos.”

State of Denial reveals that Gaddafi never had the weapons of mass destruction he pledged to renounce when Tony Blair went to Tripoli in 2004 to bring the Libyan dictator in from the cold, but argues that the links forged between senior personnel in the British and Libyan military proved invaluable in the war against Gaddafi.

The documentary also explores the tensions within both the Gaddafi family and the rebel/NATO coalition.

One of Gaddafi’s sons tried to find out if he could get a visa for the UK, while Saif El Islam, Gaddafi’s Western-educated son, was advised to give up by those around him.

The rebels thought NATO’s relentless bombing of targets like Gadaffi’s Bab Al Aziziya compound was ”making him stronger,” so the relationship between the rebels and NATO was frequently tested by coalition fears of hitting civilian targets.

Reevell formed close links with Libya through regularly travelling and working there since 2005. During the conflict, she was in daily contact with a Tripoli-based insider and in June she travelled to Libya’s Western Mountains with a group of UK-based revolutionaries to chart the fall of Tripoli for the first two episodes of the series.

State of Denial screens on Al Jazeera English from Thursday, 22 December 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday, 20h00; Friday, 12h00; Saturday, 01h00; Sunday, 06h00; Monday, 20h00; Tuesday, 12h00, Wednesday, 01h00; and Thursday 29 December 2011 at 06h00.

You can watch and embed the trailer at

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Kevin Kriedemann
+27 83 556 2346

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