The Do Gooders
Uncovering the dark side of Western aid in Palestine.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION. Official Selection: BFI London Film Festival 2013
Chloe Ruthvens first feature, Mario and Nini, followed two nine-year-old boys over five years, as she struggled to help them find alternatives to a life of crime. The film premiered at Sheffield Documentary Festival in 2008, and bought by Sky 1, where it was widely reviewed. Her second feature, Death of a Hedgefund Salesman, which looked at the banking crisis through her oldest friend turned chancer, won the Best Newcomer Award at Open City Docs in 2011. The Do Gooders is her third feature. When not making films, Chloe works with disadvantaged young people across London schools. In 2011 she started The Quadrangle Film Festival with a group of fellow filmmakers.
Chloe Ruthvens grandparents were aid workers in Palestine. Growing up, she had avoided getting too involved in the subject, recalling how mention of the country made all the adults in her life angry. In her forties, after revisiting her grandmothers book on the subject, she starts to research a documentary on the effects of foreign aid in the area and is shocked at the continued reliance on it there. Along the way she meets Lubna, a Palestinian woman who acts as her driver and fixer, and who is fiercely critical of Western aid efforts in her country. What begins as a quest to better understand her family history turns into a deeply emotional account of two women trying to understand one another. Ruthvens determination to focus her film on deeply subjective analysis results in a unique joining of the acutely personal and complexly political.