Help me, if you can
10 years after the 2004 tsunami – a story of relief beyond belief

To mark the anniversary, the film ‘Help me, if you can’ takes up central questions about the meaningfulness and problems of providing aid. It recounts the difficult history of a specific relief project in Sri Lanka, aimed at rebuilding two neighbouring fishing villages – Maradana, a Muslim village, and Paranakady, a Buddhist village. Around 2,500 people suffered loss or damage there as a result of the tsunami. The documentary film maker, Helmut Voitl, and his wife Elisabeth Guggenberger were themselves on holiday in Sri Lanka when the tsunami struck. The distress they witnessed first-hand led to their decision to set up their own relief project. But radical Buddhists tried to prevent any sort of aid reaching the Muslim settlement of Maradana. ‘If you help Muslims, you are strenghtening them. This cannot be allowed!’ – this was the slogan of the political agitators, who were even prepared to use violence against the two relief workers. The film takes a close look behind the real and media hyped scenes against which the ‘Relief’ drama following the tsunami was played out.
Produced by LÄNGENGRAD Filmproduktion in co-production with Kurt Mayer Film and WDR in collaboration with ARTE // Supported by Fernsehfonds Austria und Steierische Gesellschaft für Kulturpolitik
Written by: Elisabeth Guggenberger // Directed by: Helmut Voitl // Camera: Helmut Voitl // Additional camera: Volkmar Voitl // Film editors: Helmut Voitl, Michael Adlassnig // Music: Stefan Döring // Sound mix: Alexander Weuffen // Production assistant: Katja Sträter // Co-producer: Kurt Mayer // Production manager: Oliver Gontram // Executive producer: Thomas Weidenbach // Commissioning editors: Andrea Ernst (WDR), Sabine Rollberg (WDR/Arte)

Length: 52 min, 45 min, 30 min

Broadcast date:

Inseln der Zukunft - El Hierro

28.08.2017 | 16:00 | arte

Inseln der Zukunft - Orkney

29.08.2017 | 16:00 | arte

Inseln der Zukunft - Madeira

30.08.2017 | 16:00 | arte

Inseln der Zukunft - Sams°

31.08.2017 | 16:00 | arte

Inseln der Zukunft - Island

01.09.2017 | 16:00 | arte