“Golda” brings history alive by providing an in-depth look at the remarkable legacy of Israel’s first female Prime Minister, Golda Meir.
The Yom Kippur War took place from Oct. 6 - Oct. 25, 1973. Egypt and Syria launched an attack on Israel during one of the holiest days of the year for Jewish people, Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is known as the Jewish day of atonement, happening roughly a week after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. This year, Yom Kippur falls on Monday, Sept. 25.
“Golda” tells the true story of how Golda Meir navigated Israel’s fight to win the Yom Kippur war of Oct. 1973. With the help of her cabinet and U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, and faced with the odds that Israel might be lost after recently being established in 1948, Meir’s persistent faith in her country and soldiers results in Israel’s victory.
Helen Mirren takes on the role of Golda Meir, showcasing a powerful performance that helps the audience understand the heartache Meir went through and her determination to protect her people and country. Throughout the movie, watching the reality of the war that was occurring, alongside the audio messages of soldiers updates and the prayers for hope, made it difficult to separate the audience's feelings from Meir’s and ultimately, Mirren's.
There were many added aspects that helped showcase the different ways Meir upheld the role of prime minister of Israel that differed from a male prime minister. For instance, when she walked into a room full of government officials, only a select few stood up instead of the whole room.
“In my day, everyone stood for the Prime Minister,” Meir said to her secretary.
In addition, Meir would often hold cabinet meetings in her own house, providing food and drinks to her officials as though they were simply visiting and not discussing a war. However, among all those aspects, there was a lack of educating the audience about Meir’s backstory, like who she was before becoming prime minister. The plot took place around her leadership during the Yom Kippur war and the only backstory that was given was her mention of being forced into hiding in Ukraine when she was younger, as well as the story showcasing her ongoing battle with cancer. The story seemed incomplete due to that missing aspect of her backstory, but nevertheless, it is worth seeing.
The phrase “history come to life,” could not be more accurate. From the casting of Meir’s cabinet officials in respect to the original roles they were taking on, to the intertwining of news articles and televised broadcasts from 1973, provided the audience with a visual representation that helped deepen their understanding as well as connect with Meir in her shared heartache of those who were lost in the war.
If one wishes to learn more about Golda Meir, Israel’s history or simply wants to feel as though they themselves have lived through history, take time to go and watch “Golda.”
Shayla Mostyn is a News Reporter and columnist for The Eastern Echo. She is in the Honors College, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Journalism, and has worked for the Echo since Winter 2023. She has written both Opinion and News stories.