Mira Hamermesh was born in Lodz, Poland. She was one of a group of Jewish youngsters who during WW II, as a juvenile refugee, managed to leave Wilno-Vilnius for safety in Palestine. Her parents perished in the Holocaust.

Her talent for painting, already manifest since childhood, kept evolving in spite of the war. After an exhibition sponsored by the British Council in Jerusalem, she got to London and studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts. She became an exhibiting painter, and held a one-woman exhibition at the West End Gallery to critical acclaim.

 

Restless in spirit and body, she switched from painting to filmmaking, having won a scholarship to study at the celebrated Polish Film School in Lodz (1960).

She has since worked as a freelance director/producer/writer of short features and documentaries for British, Dutch and Israeli T.V. networks.

Aspects of racial and gender oppression were profiled in a trilogy of one-hour documentaries made for T.V. Channel 4:

1) MAIDS AND MADAMS (which won six international awards, including the Prix Italia)

2) TALKING TO THE ENEMY, and

3) CASTE AT BIRTH - which also won international awards and world-wide distribution.

Mira Hamermesh was also visiting lecturer to a number of London colleges, as well as a two-year spell at the Australian National Film School in 1988/9.