Screening: The Do Gooders + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Chloe Ruthven and protagonist Lubna Masarwa moderated by filmmaker Liz Mermin.
Filmmaker Chloe Ruthven’s grandparents were aid workers in Palestine. Growing up, she avoided getting too involved in the subject, recalling how mention of it made all the adults in her life angry. Inspired by a book written by her grandmother about the aid projects in Palestine, Ruthven explores the effects of foreign aid and the potential damage the continued reliance may have for the future.
Along the way she meets Lubna Masarwa, a forthright Palestinian woman. She not only becomes her driver, guide and fixer, but also offers a rare insight into the complex cultural and political situation on the ground. Masarwa speaks frankly of her distaste and distrust of foreign aid, something that lies uneasy with Ruthven as she seeks to find the lasting benefits of the work her grandparents supported.
What begins as a quest to better grasp her family history, turns into an emotional account of two women trying to understand one another and a unique joining of the acutely personal and complexly political. Interviews with international aid workers, Palestinian project managers, Western volunteers, local farmers and videos of her grandparents at the time, illustrate the complexity of the situation.
Directed by Chloe Ruthven