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Review: Golda. A woman leading in a man’s world

  • Release year: 2023
  • Director: Guy Nattiv.
  • Producers: Jane Hooks, Michael Kuhn and Nicholas Martin.
  • Screenplay by: Nicholas Martin.
  • Cinematographer: Jasper Wolf.
  • Music by: Dascha Dauenhauer.

Synopsis: biopic of Golda Meir during the Yom Kippur War and its resulting aftermath.

Shotgun Commentary: an interesting piece of Israeli history told beautifully and with attention to detail.

Helen Mirren in Bleecker Street/ShivHans Pictures’ GOLDA.

Review

Golda follows the life of Golda Meir during one of the biggest crisis that Israel has faced: the Yom Kippur War. During this highly stressful days, and suffering from a pretty developed cancer, Golda is an example of cool-headed leadership. Her clarity of what a leader should be in terms of responsibility and unity is an example of authority and management.

Skimming on context

The account of these events from her point of view showcase her qualities both professionally and personally. She never mixes both, but always secretly cares for everyone around her. The intricacy of the Israeli spying methods and the political negotiations, might get a bit confusing for anyone not previously aware of the conflict. A slower context sequence, or perhaps further explanation, would have been incredibly beneficial to approach the story to a wider audience and avoid disorientation.

Storytelling at its best

The main attraction of the film lays within the story telling. The cinematography is pure art in motion. The staging of every scene, as well as the colour palette and pertinent filters, accompany the story and immerse the audience in the mood of every situation. The camera movements and transitions are insanely expressive and stand out for their artistry. As do the visual metaphors inserted throughout the film, the birds being the most repeated one.

Helen Mirren and Lior Ashkenazi in Bleecker Street/ShivHans Pictures’ GOLDA.

The unity and cohesion of the birds of prey stands for Israel and how its people have always stuck together. As survivors of one of the biggest human tragedies in history, they prioritise their country no matter what and are overly cautious of everything that surrounds them. This hive mentality has saved them from more than one conflict.

Golda, from 1969 until 1974, was the head of this community. As such, the last scene shows her passing through an oxygen mask on the floor and a dead bird on a corridor. Animal that is but one of many that lay lifeless on the ground, symbolising all the soldiers that fell during the war, to which the movie is dedicated.

A one-woman show

Helen Mirren, as usual, delivers a flawless performance. The makeup, hairstyle and costume departments, transform her into the Israeli prime minister in an awe-inspiring display of talent. The visual aim is conquered, even if Golda was portrayed by a scarecrow. Luckily, it is snot a scarecrow but one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood that does the job, mimicking every gesture, movement, and even Golda’s voice.

Meir was a woman who, under any other circumstances, would have been regarded as too frail or weak to be in charge of a country. However, her impeccable behaviour as a leader and her stoicism in the face of horror, war and possible death, make her an example of what a Prime Minister should look like. She was the first woman to be elected head of government in Israel and the fourth in the world.

During the film, you can clearly see why. Helen Mirren embodies this impassive woman in a world of men, giving her so much charisma and depth that you can’t help but be invested in the narrative, even if you knew nothing about it beforehand.

Helen Mirren in Bleecker Street/ShivHans Pictures’ GOLDA.

All in all, Golda is a carefully thoughout and executed film that tells an important part of the Israeli story that is in danger of being forgotten by the world, making this narration historically significant as well as quite interesting to watch.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • There is always more to every story.
  • Historical films can be fascinating if told properly.
  • Helen Mirren can do anything, and it will most likely turn out amazing.
Helen Mirren and Lior Ashkenazi in Bleecker Street/ShivHans Pictures’ GOLDA.

What’s your take? Have you watched Golda yet? What do you think of it? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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