We're Only Trying To Help

In 1960 Chloe Ruthven’s  aristocratic grandparents, Pamela and Derek Cooper, were so moved by the stories of Palestinian refugees fleeing their homes, that they packed up their large country house and set off in a Land Rover to the war-torn region to try and help.  They were the vanguard of a humanitarian movement that is today a multi-million dollar industry.

Fifty years later, armed with the memories of her grandparents'  lives, the diaries they left behind and the rushes she was bequeathed from a 1994 Channel documentary that was made about them, Chloe began to retrace their steps. She wanted to find out what motivated them, and how that compares to the humanitarians working in the Palestinian territories today.
The film intercuts the story of this eccentric colonial couple, and their modern day equivalents that now flock to the occupied Palestinian territories.

But is the good work of these well-intentioned individuals collectively serving a much more sinister agenda?  Far from bringing peace to the region and supporting Palestinians in their search for autonomy, is foreign aid supporting and sustaining the occupation? This film asks how we can help make this very lucrative industry more responsible, and not further disempower the people it purports to help.

Chloe’s last film, Mario and Nini, – the story of two boys growing up in inner city London - was shown on Sky1 and described as “excellent” by the Guardian. Her co-director on this film will be award winning Olly Lambert (www.ollylambert.com).  

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Chloe Ruthven
Olly Lambert
Executive Producer: 
Christopher Hird
Lara Agnew