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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positions of power come with great responsibility. Decisions often involve gray areas and levels of uncertainty. It's important to understand and acknowledge the consequences of actions.
Positive Role Models
Golda shows courage and perseverance, as well as careful thought and calmness under pressure. However, once her mind is made up she often acts with a cold, single-mindedness, even when thousands of lives are at stake. Her softer side often comes out with other women, including her assistant and secretary, where she shows a level of vulnerability and empathy.
There has been controversy around the casting of Helen Mirren in the lead role, who is neither Israeli nor Jewish, and was made up with heavy prosthetics to look like the Jewish Israeli prime minister. Director Guy Nattiv is from Israel, as are numerous supporting actors who play roles within the Israel Defense Forces, including Rami Heuberger, Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan, and Dvir Benedek. The portrayal of the Yom Kippur War is very much from the Israeli point of view, given the focus on Golda and those around her. She is a woman in a position of power who shows strength and achieves a great deal, though her real-life counterpart was a controversial figure in her home nation.
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Violence & Scariness
Explosions and gunfire seen in news footage. Much violence is heard through army communications, rather than seen on-screen, including screaming, verbal descriptions of battle, gunfire, and further explosions. Character is treated for lymphoma cancer, with scenes involving injections and hospital scans, a person in bed hooked up to machines, as well as hair falling out and throwing up blood. Reference to nuclear weapons. Character scratches own hands until they bleed. Mention of prisoners of war being treated badly and having fingernails torn out, and Jews beaten to death in the street. Dead bodies shown under sheets in a morgue, and coffins laid out on airport tarmac. A character's hand falls to the side of the bed, indicating they have died.
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Occasional language includes "damn" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character smokes cigarettes almost constantly, as do others around her. Drinking, mostly in the form of spirits, but not to the point of intoxication. Codeine and other drugs taken in a medical context.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Golda is a biographical/historical drama that follows Israeli Prime minister Golda Meir and those in the Israeli Defense Forces from the lead-up to the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Explosions and shooting are shown in news footage and elsewhere, either seen from a distance or mostly heard via army communications rather than shown on-screen -- this involves screaming and soldiers describing the warzone, which can be intense in places. Bodies are seen beneath sheets in a morgue and coffins lined up on airport tarmac. A character is treated for lymphoma cancer, with medical scenes in hospital. Cigarettes are smoked almost constantly and alcohol is consumed, though not to excess. Golda shows courage, perseverance, and moments of empathy, though is not without her faults. The casting of Helen Mirren in the title role has drawn controversy, as the actor is neither Israeli nor Jewish and wears heavy prosthetics to look like the prime minister. While the narrative is very much from an Israeli POV, the film captures an important historical moment with a level of nuance and will appeal to adults and older teens interested in the historical and political implications that continue on today. Most dialogue is in English, with some Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While the decision to choose a non-Jewish or Israeli actor to play the titular role has drawn controversy, Mirren is characteristically reliable in embodying Israel's fourth Prime Minister. Golda concentrates as much on a moment in history as it does on the woman nicknamed the "Iron Lady" (a moniker she was handed long before Margaret Thatcher). Rather than exploring the character's past or even family -- she had two children, though is seen alone but for her assistant (a practical but caring Camille Cottin) -- the film focuses on a 19-day period, punctuated by a tribunal that followed. Mirren shows great levels of emotion through quite heavy prosthetics. There are enjoyable moments of sarcasm and sly manipulation that peek at a more interesting side to the political figure. But when compared to the real-life footage of Golda shown toward the end of the film -- vivacious, self-assured, celebrated; upstaging a table full of male politicians at the peace accord -- it feels like the movie never quite captures the energy or gets beneath the skin of the infamous figure. A well-made retelling of an important moment in history, and an interesting spotlight on a controversial woman, the movie is enjoyable but less impactful than its subject matter may promise.
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