Golda Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On January 25, cinemas began showing the historical biographical drama “Golda,” which tells the story of the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, during the troubling days of the Yom Kippur War. The film reaches our screens with a huge delay, so in the review below we tell you why this film is worth attention if you haven’t had time to watch it yet.


the tense, anxious atmosphere associated with the beginning of a military invasion, which will be close to each of us; excellent acting from Helen Mirren, which is why her character is able to claim an audience response; witty dialogues between Golda and Henry Kissinger, which provide a comprehensive description of the nature of Russians and even the works of classics of Russian literature (and there will also be borscht); a good soundtrack that harmoniously complements the frame; appropriate use of documentary footage


the final act is less interesting, as the tension there disappears due to obvious historical events; the bird refrain seems unnecessary; in general, although the film turns out to be interesting, this interest is quite restrained

“Golda” / Golda

Genre historical-biographical drama
Directed by Guy Nattiv
Starring Helen Mirren, Camille Cottin, Liev Schreiber, Lior Ashkenazy, Ed Stoppard
Premiere cinemas
Year of release 2023
IMDb website

October 1973. Israel was attacked in two directions at once: Egyptian troops launched an offensive on the Sinai Peninsula, and Syrian troops invaded from the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and the military-political leadership understand that certain ignorance of the potential threat caused the country to be unprepared to repel attacks.

While the Israeli Defense Forces try to hold back the enemy’s advance, suffering heavy losses, in the smoke-filled offices of endless cigarettes, Golda and military leaders are looking for optimal solutions to turn the tide in their favor. It was a time of anxious thoughts and extremely difficult, responsible decisions on which a large number of human lives depended.

In addition to the actual military concerns, the “iron lady” of Israel also had to think about the political background, because the level of involvement in the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union largely depended on her decisions.

This is not the first attempt by filmmakers to bring Golda Meir’s life to the screen. In 1982, the television film “A Woman Called Golda” by Alan Gibson was released, where Ingrid Bergman played her last role. This work brought the actress an Emmy and a Golden Globe, but today few people remember that project.

Israeli director Guy Nattiv, who won an Oscar for the short film “Skin” (2018), and screenwriter Nicholas Martin, who worked on the script for the biopic “Florence Foster Jenkins” with Meryl Streep, worked on the new film about the only woman to serve as Prime Minister of Israel. starring. In this film, also a biographical film, the main role was performed by another outstanding actress Helen Mirren. She is no stranger to playing famous historical figures in positions of power.

The lion’s share of the charm of this monotonous film rests on Mirren’s filigree acting work in complex makeup.

Already from the opening shots, even before the first line is heard, thanks to expressive artistic film tools, the authors give a certain idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe heroine. It is on this, and not on military operations or, especially, action scenes, that the local story will be focused. To a certain extent, this makes the film similar to Oppenheimer, where the emphasis was also on the character, and not on the historical event – the creation of a deadly bomb.

Jasper Wolf’s camera (Bodies, Bodies, Bodies) takes an extreme close-up of the main character, in particular her deeply wrinkled face and endlessly sad and tired eyes. A little later, the cameraman will resort to a low angle when Golda is heading to a meeting of the state investigative commission of Agranat (and this is another reason to remember Nolan’s monumental biopic and his office red tape). Such an angle will indicate confidence or at least firmness of the heroine, despite the catastrophic state of her health. Yes, she is a strong-willed woman with a difficult fate, and this becomes clear immediately.

Spectator interest here is achieved thanks to the tense atmosphere, that constant state of excitement into which an extremely difficult situation plunges the characters. Their doubts, pain or even fears are closer to us today than ever. We understand their determination. While the air raid signal is sounding in the film, a real one is heard outside the window: the damned MiG has taken to the sky again.

In a situation where the dirt of a real war and numerous deaths remain behind the scenes, it makes sense to say that “Golda” is to some extent still a war drama, albeit squeezed in the grip of a political thriller. The plot offers discussion meetings with toy tanks neatly placed on maps and interesting conversations with US Secretary of State Kissinger. Plus short breaks for a smoke break. But at the same time, everyone involved, like the viewer, can hear the last cries of the doomed soldiers.

The viewer is not shown the horror of what is happening on the battlefield, as in the film adaptations of Remarque or the blockbusters of Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg. But there is an opportunity to imagine it, which can hardly leave you indifferent.

Considering the monotony of the narrative and, at first glance, the minimal eventfulness, one may get the false impression that “Golda” is of no interest. This will be so if you hope for purely military action, which, let’s be honest, is enough in real life.

Nattiv’s film is different – with an electrifying atmosphere, dramatic circumstances and the willingness of one woman, by the way, a native of Kyiv, to take on a huge burden of responsibility in difficult times. Taking into account Helen Mirren’s remarkable performance, this will be quite enough to understand the fate of her weak on the outside, but strong on the inside character. And for a biopic this is a fundamentally important factor.


“Golda” clearly does not reach the level of the most outstanding biographical dramas, like “Oppenheimer,” but it deserves attention from the viewer.

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