Golda | Third Space
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Golda

What a timely reminder of the past in light of the present
Tue 23 Apr 2024

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2 (out of 5)

One of the beautiful aspects of cinema is the joy of travelling back in time to gain access to the insider’s view of historical events and those who were integral within these stories. The Yom Kippur War of 1973 only lasted for 19 days. Still, it became a definitive event within the tenure of Prime Minister Golda Meir (Helen Mirren). The details of this military action are the primary focus of Guy Nattiv’s film, as he unpacks the significance of Israel's first and only female leader and the only woman to lead a country in the Middle East.

Golda unpacks the narrative that surrounded the days of the war that had Israel under attack from the Syrian and Egyptian borders. Despite having intelligence that forces were massing on both borders, Meir and her inner circle hesitated in staging an offensive response. The Prime Minister sided with her defence minister, Moshe Dayan (Rami Heuberger), to send a smaller force to defend the advance with little concern that the attack would occur. Yet, Syria and Egypt did eventually invade. This led to a diplomatic effort involving the Arab States, Russia, and the influential voice of the U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger (Liev Schreiber). Each day brought new challenges on each front while Meir was going through medical tests for health issues that stemmed from her chain smoking and lack of exercise. Despite her popularity with the public, this event led to division within her party, country, and the military.

In light of current events occurring in the lands of Israel, this film was a fascinating study of centuries of hostility that has existed between the Jewish people and their Arab neighbours. Mirren embodies the controversial political figure under a multitude of prosthetics and from behind a fog of cigarette smoke. She is able to show the humanity and frailty of Golda alongside the tenuous relationships between these nations. Everything from the impact of the governmental staff to her testimonial before the Agranat Commission provides valuable insight into the powder keg atmosphere that continues to exist in this area of the world.

From the sepia lighting to the claustrophobic atmosphere, Guy Nattiv captures the understated tone of the 1970s and the desperate nature of the Israeli government’s situation. This visual backdrop is complemented by the outstanding performances of Mirren and those portraying her inner circle of advisors. Albeit a fascinating look into history and Middle Eastern culture, the characters of this true-life drama make this captivating through to the fateful end. Golda is for fans of the political leader, Helen Mirren, and those seeking to understand more about the past.

Reel Dialogue: Why study history?

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” - George Santayana, writer and philosopher

Watching a film like Golda could be credited with being a dramatic retelling of history. This should not deter people from it; instead, it should encourage people to know more about the past and what we can learn, especially concerning the constant struggle in the Middle East. We cannot put one country’s struggle through our own personal lens as opposed to understanding the history and uniqueness of the culture before passing judgement.

Interestingly, the Bible is a treasure trove of information concerning the history of Israel and the Middle East. No historian would discredit the validity and reliability of the Bible’s text as a resource to understand the past of these people groups. The Old Testament provides the foundation for this study, and the New Testament brings forth the solution in Jesus to peace in the Middle East and the world.

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 1:9

If you would like to discuss the history of the Bible and God, reach out to us at Third Space. We would love to chat with you about this and more.

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