HASHISH YOUTH (1969) Israel TV
Writer/ Director/ Producer: Mira Hamermesh
The subject of the film is a month in the life of a group of boys in a depressed neighbourhood of Tel Aviv who, through a variety of misdemeanours, end up first with a police record and eventually with prison sentences.
It explores the process by which, from stealing an apple or some other trivial juvenile delinquency, some of them commit serious crimes including rape and even murder. They become fully-fledged criminals.
Mira Hamermesh said: “During the time of the research, I and the crew participated in their rituals of drug-taking and other forms of self-amusement taking place late into the night on the beaches of Tel Aviv. The social worker, who served as our go-between, was one of those optimistic and devoted men who believed in the redemption of their crooked lives through a variety of activities.
“While filming in the prison, we were tipped of that the director of the prison had laid on a special show for the day of filming. Needless to say, we presented to film the places that he chose to advertise the perfection of his institution, and managed clandestinely to obtain the footage we required to represent the true conditions of the life within the prison.”