Do Gooders

The road to Palestine is paved with good intentions

Directed by Chloe Ruthven | Produced by Mike Lerner


Do GoodersA Thelma and Louise-style road movie journeying into the mysterious world of international aid in Palestine. British director Chloe Ruthven and local activist Lubna embark on a trip to explore the impact of aid on the region. But what starts out as a simple quest becomes increasingly complex as the personal and political become ever more entwined

Chloe’s British grandparents and parents were ‘Do Gooders’ – relief workers in Occupied Palestine. The family home was often full of journalists and politicos discussing the Palestinian cause – part of a vanguard of European humanitarians and journalists who sought justice for the Palestinian people; a movement that has mushroomed into a multimillion-dollar industry.

Chloe-and-LubnaFifty years after her grandparents made their first trip, Chloe travels back to the region to see how their work carries on today.  She finds a very different picture to the one she’d heard about as a child, with international aid agencies working to an American and Israeli agenda rather than a Palestinian one.

Chloe engages the help of Lubna to documenting the complex relationships that develop between the donors and the Palestinian recipients. It isn’t long before the unhealthy power relationships they witness on a national level start to impact on their own friendship.

See a Q+A video with Chloe and Lubna at the film’s premiere


Do Gooders screened at the Frontline Club in London on 22 November, with both Chloe and Lubna present for a Q+A. Find out more