The 'Golda' Trailer Shows Helen Mirren As the Outspoken Israeli Leader – Kveller
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The ‘Golda’ Trailer Shows Helen Mirren As the Outspoken Israeli Leader

The movie, which comes out in August, explores the darkest chapter of the first female prime minister's life.


Photo credit: Jasper Wolf, courtesy of Bleecker Street

Despite the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, “Golda,” a biopic directed by Israeli Academy Award winner Guy Nattiv and starring Oscar winner dame (!) Helen Mirren as the Israeli Prime Minister, will be premiering on August 25.

The movie’s first trailer was just released this week and it has one of the best Jewish quotes of all times in it, from a conversation between Golda Meir and secretary of state Henry Kissinger, played by Jewish actor Liev Schreiber in the film, whom she solicits for help during the Yom Kippur War.

“Remember,” the American leader and Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany, tells her, “that I am first an American, second I am secretary of state, and third I am a Jew.”

“Your forget that in Israel we read from right to left,” she responds.

The trailer is, like all of Nattiv’s projects, visually arresting and retells the story of the war that forever changed Jewish history. We see Meir beseech her generals to “rescue these boys” as she explains that if the Arabs reach Tel Aviv, it will be the end of the state of Israel, which she so loved.

Meir is supported by her close assistant and confidant Lou Keidar, played by Jewish french actress Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent!”). “In my day they stood for the prime minister,” she quietly remarks to Meir when she enters a room full of Israeli male leaders who don’t pay her any heed. “If the Americans throw us to the dogs,” she later confesses to Keidar, “I will not be taken alive.”

There has already been outcry over the heavy facial prosthetics Mirren dons for the movie, and for the fact that she is not Jewish, but despite all of that, the trailer shows her portraying a strong, outspoken Meir who is struck by the magnitude of the horror of this war and its human price.

The trailer also features a cover of Leonard Cohen’s song “Who By Fire,” which incorporates the Yom Kippur prayer “Unetanneh Tokef.” Cohen famously visited Israel during the Yom Kippur War to sing to soldiers in the frontlines.

We also get a reminder of the prime minister’s origins. Meir was born Golda Mabovich in 1898, in what is now Ukraine, and she joined her father in Milwaukee in 1906.

“When I was a child in Ukraine,” she tells Kissinger on the phone in the trailer, “they would beat Jews in the street for fun. I am not that little girl hiding in the basement.”

“All those boys,” she says at the end of the trailer, referring to the over 2000 soldiers killed in one of Israel’s most fatal conflicts, “I will carry that pain to my grave.”

Meir resigned after the Yom Kippur War, in 1974, and remained haunted by that war until her death in 1978.

She remains an extremely controversial figure, just like Henry Kissinger, who turned 100 this year and is still making headlines for his polemic statements.

And yet Golda Meir is an icon and history-maker, too — the first female Israeli Prime Minister and fourth female leader of a nation in the world — and an inspiration for some pretty remarkable art. It looks like this movie will be a deft and entrancing exploration of the most dramatic chapter of her life.

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