War is short in ‘Golda’

There’s more unsaid than said in Golda. This film from director Guy Nattiv has the main goal of providing a grandstanding performance from Helen Mirren as Golda Meir the fourth Prime Minister of Isreal.

Her surname Meir is pronounced the way my cat says meow.

Golda concentrates on the events of the Yom Kipper War, a war that lasted less than three weeks. War is never pleasant but its nice to know there were conflicts that lasted mere days compared to the process of dragging on fighting between nations to years and years.

Israel took on Egypt and Syria with each side being aided in part by Russia and America, the latter acting under the aegis of the United Nations.

Golda honestly depicts the back channel dealings between Meir and Henry Kissinger, then US Secretary of State, that provided Israel with air power useful in successfully pushing back Arab troops. There were future concessions between all parties involved while Egypt would itself draw back from Russian influence in coming decades.

But Golda is not a film about decades so much as a film centered on a specific moment in history and time. In that manner the film has a compelling angle. Golda also serves as a tour de force platform for Mirren to overact. The last time Mirren did this she won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth in The Queen.

Meir chain smokes throughout the entire film. A bracketing scene at the end has her on her hospital death bed taking deep drags between medication.

Many of the sequences use subliminal cuts with actual footage of the Yom Kipper War. For an agitprop film Golda unwinds with svelte moves.

Golda opens in theaters this weekend.


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