An American Hippie in Israel (Found Israeli Film; 1972)


An American Hippie in Israel (1972)
Poster for the film.
Poster for the film.
Status Found
Date found 2007
Found by Yaniv Edelstein

Ha-Trempist (Hebrew for "The Hitchhiker"), better known as An American Hippie in Israel, is a 1972 Israeli film directed by Amos Sefer, starring Asher Tzarfati and Lily Avidan. The plot involves an American ex-soldier who travels to Israel to escape his memories of the Vietnam War. There, he meets three people who share his political beliefs. The group escapes to a small island after barely surviving being gunned down by a pair of stalking mimes. Communications grow sour, and they quickly turn against each other.

An American Hippie in Israel is Sefer's only known film, and was the second film to be released by its distributor, Box Office Spectaculars. Upon its initial release in 1972, the film was trashed by critics, citing its many technical deficiencies in scripting, dialogue, cinematography, and English voice dubbing. The film was largely forgotten until around 2007 when film historian Yaniv Edelstein managed to locate a copy in the possession of one of the actors who had appeared in the film. Following this rediscovery, the film was screened in Tel Aviv and gained a cult following there. The film is viewed there as a "midnight movie" much like Rocky Horror Picture Show is in the USA.

The 2007 copy was eventually re-mastered and made available to the rest of the world on DVD and Blu-Ray by Grindhouse Releasing in 2013. The DVD and Blu-Ray releases also included a second, slightly longer director's cut of the film, found in Amos Sefer's possession.

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