|AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL (HA-TREMPIST) (director/writer: Amos Sefer; cinematographer: Jacob Kallach; editor: Amos Sefer; music: Nachum Heiman; cast: Asher Tzarfati (Mike), Lilli Avidan (Elizabeth), Shmuel Wolf (Komo), Tsilla Karny (Françoise), Fran Liberman-Avni (singer), Suzan Devor (singer); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Amatsia Hiuni; Grindhouse Releasing; 1972-Israel-dubbed in English)|
can say without any trepidation that the
filmmaker is a meshugener."
by Dennis Schwartz
heavy-handed preachy dated love message underground
film about a group of idealists finding an
undisclosed desert island to live in to promote
their free-spirit lifestyle of song and dance. The
four freedom seekers from society come across as
arrogant snots. This weird inept movie was made by a
former lifeguard with no training as a filmmaker,
Amos Sefer. After this turkey, take a
guess if the Israeli filmmaker ever got a chance to
direct again. This film is a classic in bad films.
NYC bearded hippie, Mike (Asher Tzarfati), an angry Vietnam
vet with a motormouth, has been aimlessly
traveling around Europe for the last two years and
arrives in Israel by plane. While hitch-hiking
he's picked up by a wealthy native red-headed
theater actress Elizabeth (Lilli Avidan).
Back in her family's pad, Mike goes on a rant
about how shitty the push button world is and
makes a love connection with his like-minded host.
In the city they meet a group of like-minded
hippies who plan to follow Mike's vision of
building a peaceful commune with no rules outside
of civilization, as someone mentions the perfect
spot might be an isolated island off the mainland
coast. But two mimes, looking like ghostly
morticians, appear, who have been following Mike
around the world in a hostile manner, and they use
machine guns to kill off most of the commune
seekers. The survivors include Mike and Elizabeth
and another couple, the Hebrew only speaking Komo
and his French girlfriend Françoise (Tsilla Karny).
The foursome travel to the island in Elizabeth's
There's a bizarre dream sequence on the
car trip of Mike dreaming he's smashing with a
hammer dudes with reel to reel tape recorders as
When they reach their spot of crossing to
the unnamed island, Mike grabs a rubber dinghy for
the crossing and a goat for the food supply. At a
nighttime campfire on the island, Mike delivers a
ridiculous rant on "wonderful feelings." When
things look bad on the island, with only snails to
eat, Mike learns he can't swim back for supplies
because of the sharks.
There are two girl folksingers (Fran Liberman-Avni & Suzan Devor) singing limp songs throughout about the eternal search for peace. When things go completely wrong on the desolate island, the others turn against the boastful Mike and it leads to a truly bizarre ending--an incomprehensible allegory, a mind-fuck.
It's either disheartening or looney tunes
funny to hear all the sermons delivered about
finding peace from these losers. Perhaps Ed Wood
fans will enjoy such an inept “hippiesploitation”
flick. Its pretentiousness and outdated visions and
ill-advised attempt to make it appear as an art-house
movie, brings it to new lows in film-making. But as a
curio to goof on, it's a must see for those who can
appreciate a bad flick. The film is so perplexing and
maddening, that one can say without any
trepidation that the filmmaker is a meshugener.
REVIEWED ON 2/4/2015 GRADE: D
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ