"War, conflict and the fall out of war and peace are subjects that don't leave me alone. The recent projects in preparation fall within these categories."
WAR and SEX (A view from the Military Zone)
  The fascination with female warriors is rooted in myth and reality. The ancient Greeks have enshrined the theme of Amazon warriors in the sculptures of the Appolo Temple in Arcadia that illustrated the impact of the invasion which supposedly took place between the ATHENIANS and the AMAZONS. Since antiquity, Western culture had from time to time thrown up historical heroic representation of female warriors winning glory in battle.
  World War II introduced a new phase in the evolution of the role of women in the military establishment. England and other Allied armies recruited women into its regular forces. Though they formed an integral part of the war effort, they were excluded from the battlefields. Killing and dying in warfare used to be the duty and preserve of males only. But in many war theatres, as partisans, women took part in combat, participating in the business of killing and being killed.  
  The sight of women in military gear, proudly parading, displaying weapons or participating in a variety of military functions, had become familiar. NATO and the USA military establishment were proud of the success of the integration process, which boasted the first woman general, the first combat pilot and the presence of women on warships etc.  
  With the passage of time, without much fanfare or fierce debates, the battlefield stopped being an out- of - bounds zone for female soldiers. The barrier was removed and a new precedent had crept into our moral code. Women, the life givers were given military licence to join men in becoming the life takers.  
 

The new breed of Amazons and their adversaries dare ignore the new moral order at their peril. We are now living in a world where the ethos: "To kill or be killed " roams our globe questioning the basic tenets not only of the Western civilisation. The latest new phenomena of unisex suicide bombers, as part of a new warfare strategy, whether used for religious, political or nationalistic reasons, has raised the curtain on the first act drama about the militarised death culture roaming of our globe.

 
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THE SONG OF THE ROMA TRIBES
 
 

"A land without Gypsies is a land without freedom" (A Roma prayer from Albania) 

"THE SONG OF THE ROMA TRIBES" documents a life lived in transit, one imbued with a rich and vivid cultural Roma heritage. It deals with an aspect of European history mostly ignored. It tells the story of ROMA-GYPSIES in a Europe no longer divided by the Iron Curtain. A Europe, which having lost its Jews as the historical target of hostility, has earmarked the Gypsies as its target of racial hate.

 
  For the nomadic Gypsies, Europe was and is a continent of intolerance and barbarism, not of liberalism and open borders. Split into diverse tribes, and speaking different dialects, they are united by a history of persecution culminating in the atrocity of the Final Solution.  
  Historically, Europe's only nomads have encountered frequent expulsions, and other atrocities. They had no civic rights and many were enslaved up until the eighteenth century.  
  The 1995 Minority Rights Group Report on Roma-Gypsies stressed that they are uniquely the most vilified and harassed minority in Europe today.  
 

The position of the Roma-Gypsies, (approximate population 7-8 million) within a 'united' Europe, is a suitable gauge by which to measure and forecast the social/political climate of a United Europe. Can it accommodate the Roma/Gypsies presence without plunging into the darkness of past barbarity?

 

 
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The Guardian published Mira's story in it's family section of 31st October 2009. The story commemorates the destruction of the Lodz ghetto 65 years ago. The special event organised in connection with this brought together survivors of the Lodz ghetto from around the world. Read the article below.

Lodz ghetto: back into the pit of hell published in TheGuardian October 200

and view her photographs of the event here

The article was translated by Piotr Pazinski and appeared in Polish literary magazine Midrasz, isue Nt 2 (154) in April 2010.

Mira has also been interviewed by Simon Round for the Jewish Chronicle of December 2009.

 
 
 

 

     
 

 

Mira was honoured by the Israel Cinematheque with a Retrospective arranged in March 2005 which included 14 of her films. Amongst them, a few made for Israeli television

After the Six Day War (1967) the then head of BBC2 , Stewart Hood, was asked to help to set up Israel Television Network, which up until then was non existent. The people of the Book were originally scornful about the electronic popular culture.

Stewart was the advisor about recruiting 'experts' from Europe and the US and Canada .

I, Mira Hamermesh, was one of his recommendations from the UK.

My involvement at the beginning of Israeli TV making earned me a surprising reward consisting of an offer to hold a Retrospective programme of my films at the Cinemateque.

In March 05 the programme of my Retro included fifteen of my films with an international range as well as six Hebrew speaking films that I have directed . As they had never been translated into other languages their revival was treat for the Israeli Cinemateque going public.

 
     
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Mira's memoir "THE RIVER OF ANGRY DOGS" was published by Pluto Press in March 2004 and Proszynski i S-ka in Polish translation, read an extract from the English here

An extraordinary book, an extraordinary, frightening life. To be Polish without nation, Jewish without family, hunted down in a land at war - and to be a genius in the making - well, it's not the normal teenager's life. Mira Hamermersh sees past and present with a film-maker's flawless eye, in this shattering written memorial to those she loved and lost." -- Fay Weldon


"Simply wonderful. ... The narrative is utterly gripping. I could not put it down." -- John Carey, Books Editor, The Sunday Times


"This is the story of a teenager crossing Hitler's Europe with only her own courage and luck to sustain her. It is a book of stunning narrative power, as able to move the reader with the surprises of human goodness and happy reunions as with the terror of those dark times. It is unlike any other memoir of the period that I can recall." -- Elaine Feinstein


"A fascinating account, covering so many countries, conditions, perils and states of mind." -- Alan Sillitoe

Mira Hamermesh, the author of the book Rzeka Wscieklych Psow, is a distinguished filmmaker who has earned many international awards. She also an exhibiting painter.
She grew up in Lodz and left her native town after German invasion of Poland (1st September 1939).
The book, a memoir, describes the adventures and mis-adventures of a schoolgirl wandering through war-torn Europe , until she reached British ruled Palestine (1941. )
At the end of the war she came to London on a scholarship to study at the Slade school of fine art.
The memoir is written in a vivid style that leaves the reader enthused with the author’s love of life, her reflections about the nature of survival and life-saving coincidences.