DOC NYC 2019: Golda

Golda Meir

The biggest selling point on Golda is newly discovered footage of the late Israeli prime minister taped just a few months before her passing.

Long before Margaret Thatcher was the Iron Lady, the title belonged to Golda Meir.  Born in Ukraine and later living in Milwaukee, Meir would eventually make aliyah.  While she would later be active in Israeli politics, ill health forced her to retire in 1966.  Retirement would be short-lived as Meir would become the Labor Party’s candidate for Prime Minister in 1969.  I’m not going to go through Meir’s biography.  You’d be better off reading about it online.  There’s so much to discuss about Meier that a 85 minute documentary doesn’t feel like it goes far enough.

It’s incredible to see how Meir is viewed outside of America.  Americans see Meir as a hero.  Israelis see her as something else.  What did her in–in the eyes of Israelis–was the Yom Kippur War.  Through watching the film, you get a sense of Egypt pushing for peace while Meir is steadfast in refusing to give up land.  Lo and behold, some things just don’t change!  But again, most of what we know about Israel today had to do with her in one way or another.

This interview does happen to paint a new light on who Meir is as a person.  It paints a light on her administration.  When Israel buried the athletes who were tragically killed in Munich, Meir was nowhere to be found.  It turns out that her own sister was buried on the same day.  The more you know!

There are interviews with people who worked with Meir.  Among them, Mossad chief Zvi Zamir.  If you’re familiar with the tragedy of Munich or the Steven Spielberg-directed film, Zamir’s comments offer an interesting perspective.  Mostly, on how Israel responded to the tragedy.  Did Israel respond with force to the tragedy?  It’s all suspect as Zamir is unable to truly comment on the record.  Zamir does tear up even if he can’t comment on the record.

Other interviews include Meir’s spokesman during her 1969-1974 term, Prof Meron Medzini.  He offers some fascinating insight into the late prime minister.  Gideon Meir, Golda’s grandson, also shares some insight about his grandmother.  There are others including Labor Party spokesman (1977-1984) Dr. Yossi Beilin and a journalist/Knesset member, Uri Avnery.  Combined together with the narration and Meir’s own story, we are able to paint a portrait of the late Israeli prime minister.

Golda will be satisfactory for some but with how much is known about her, this documentary could certainly go further.

DIRECTORS:  Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir, Shani Rozanes
FEATURING:  Golda Meir, Zvi Zamir, Meron Medzini, Gideon Meir, Yossi Beilin, Reuven Abergel, Uri Avnery

Golda held its international premiere during DOC NYC 2019. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.