Original title:Golda
Director:Guy Nattiv
Running time:100 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
A man about to get engaged and married travels to an island to vacation with his friends, but finds himself embroiled in unfortunate events with a gang of thieves that will change his life's decisions.

Mulder's Review

Guy Nattiv's film Golda is a captivating exploration of history, leadership and the human experience in times of crisis. Led by Helen Mirren's performance as Golda Meir, the film takes an intimate look at the pivotal weeks of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a period of intense conflict and decision-making that tested the courage of Israel's first female prime minister.

Helen Mirren's transformation into Golda Meir is nothing short of impressive. Using intricate prosthetics, Helen Mirren embodies the iconic leader with remarkable authenticity, capturing not only her physical presence, but also her inner strength and vulnerabilities. Helen Mirren's ability to channel Meir's emotions, from resolute determination to moments of personal doubt, adds layers of complexity to the character.

The film's narrative structure is innovative, opening with Golda Meir's testimony before the Agranat Commission, which investigated the Israeli government's handling of the Yom Kippur War. This framing device provides context and urgency as it segues into flashbacks of the war itself. The use of archival footage seamlessly integrated into the film's narrative adds an extra layer of authenticity, transporting the audience back to those tumultuous times.

Guy Nattiv's direction shines in its ability to balance the personal and the political. The film doesn't just depict a war and its consequences; it delves into the psyche of a leader grappling with impossible decisions. The war room scenes, often confined to austere settings, underline the weight of Meir's choices as she debates with her all-male cabinet, each member offering his or her own perspective on strategy and consequences.

While the film's main focus is on Golda Meir, Camille Cottin's portrayal of Lou Kadar is an equally remarkable performance. Kadar's quiet strength and unwavering support provide an indispensable counterpoint to the intensity of the war room. Cottin lends depth to the character, transforming what could have been a mere secondary role into an important emotional anchor for the film.

Golda doesn't shy away from highlighting the consequences of leadership on the individual and those around him. As Golda Meir confronts the weight of her decisions and the personal sacrifices they entail, the film paints a complex portrait of a leader torn between her duty and her humanity. Moments of vulnerability, such as Meir's interactions with Kadar or her poignant conversations with Henry Kissinger (convincingly played by Liev Schreiber), humanize the Iron Lady, reminding audiences that even powerful leaders carry their own burdens.

However, the film is not without its faults. The pace occasionally falters, with certain scenes seeming to drag on and on. Moreover, while the focus on Mrs. Meir's internal struggle lends depth to her character, it sometimes results in a lack of exploration of the wider geopolitical context and the perspectives of other key players.

Despite these minor drawbacks, Golda triumphs as a character-driven historical drama. It sheds light on a lesser-known period in Israel's history, and provides insight into the challenges faced by a leader who must simultaneously manage political, military and personal crises. Nattiv's direction, coupled with Helen Mirren's transformative performance, creates a nuanced portrait of a complex figure who challenged gender norms and shattered glass ceilings. The film reminds us that true leadership is not just about making tough decisions, but also about facing up to their consequences while keeping one's humanity intact.

Golda is a stimulating exploration of leadership, resilience and the human spirit. Peeling back the layers of Golda Meir's character, the film invites audiences to reflect on the nature of leadership and the sacrifices leaders make for the greater good. Mirren's performance, supported by a strong ensemble cast and Guy Nattiv's meticulous direction, makes Golda a must-see film that resonates long after the credits roll in viewers' heads. The Deauville American Film Festival made no mistake in including this film in its official selection.

Directed by Guy Nattiv
Written by Nicholas Martin
Produced by Michael Kuhn, Jane Hooks, Nicholas Martin
Starring Helen Mirren, Camille Cottin, Liev Schreiber, Lior Ashkenazi Dvir Benedek
Cinematography : Jasper Wolf
Edited by Arik Lahav-Leibovich
Music by Dascha Dauenhauer
Production companies : Piccadilly Pictures, Big Entrance, Embankment Films, Lipsync Productions, Qwerty Films, Big Hat Stories, Hianlo Films, New Native Pictures
Distributed by Bleecker Street, ShivHans Pictures
Release dates : February 20, 2023 (Berlinale), August 25, 2023 (United States)
Running time : 100 minutes

Seen September 5 2023 at international center

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