Baba and the Colonel
Libya, South Africa
Producer: Khalid Shamis
Production Company: Tuba Films
When Gadaffi took power of Libya in 1969 he painted the picture of a new cultural leader, styling himself as its perfected guide, in reality the country and its people suffered. In Sudan in 1981 eight Libyan exiled dissidents gathered to hatch a plan and the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) was born. My father, Ashur Shamis, was one of these men. Their main objective was to use armed warfare against the regime and, for a while, it looked like they would succeed. Gadaffi set out to hunt them down and for the next thirty years the NFSL became his most dangerous oppositional force; but soon the Front found itself mired in political wrangling, infighting, personal loss and dissipation. When, in 2011, the Libyan people chased Gadaffi into a sewer and promptly executed him the doors were open for a new republic and some of those founding members of the NFSL rose to lead the country. The tables have turned but those who now sit at them have, in effect, become caretakers of the mess Gadaffi left. As a family, we stood by unaware as my father led a dangerous double life. When all efforts are focused on the freedom of a faraway land, what is sacrificed and what is achieved in the process? Thirty years later, do the old revolutionaries still share the same ideals? Will they be able to successfully transform the country or will their old differences resurface to block progress?
Khalid Shamis was born in 1975 in London. Trained as a Producer and Director in the UK, Khalid has been an active part of the film industry in the UK from 1997 and South Africa since 2005. Hailing from a Libyan heritage, Khalid is committed to being a beneficial part of the film industry in Libya. Khalid’s debut feature length documentary, 'Imam and I', was received to critical acclaim. He is passionate about the current climate of filmmaking in Africa and the Middle East being a member of the South African Screen Federation, the Independent Producers Organisation, the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association and the South African Guild of Editors.