Lost Media Archive


Ha-Trempist (Hebrew for "The Hitchhiker"), better known as An American Hippie in Israel, is a 1972 Israeli film directed by Amos Sefer and starring Asher Tzarfati and Lily Avidan. The plot involves an American ex-soldier and hippie, Mike, who travels to Israel (of all places) to escape his memories of the Vietnam War. There, he meets three Israelis who share his political beliefs. After barely surviving being gunned down by a pair of stalking mimes, the quartet escape to a small island off the coast. After a few days, however, communications between the four break down 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 panned by critics, citing its many technical deficiencies, particularly in the areas of scripting, dialogue, cinematography, and English dubbing. Afterwards, the film was largely forgotten until around 2007, when local 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 soon gained a cult following in its native country similar to those of The Room or Plan Nine From Outer Space.

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, recently found in Amos Sefer's possession.