“Contradictions? I love that question!” exclaimed Academy Award®-winning director and director of Golda, Guy Nativ, in response to a question posed by Alon Ben-Gurion, grandson of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
During the fascinating interview between the two luminaries of the Jewish and Zionist world, which will be broadcast on August 30, Ben-Gurion held Nativ accountable for previous comments he made about Israel’s 4th Prime Minister, asking: “. ..my grandfather, David Ben-Gurion, once said that Golda Meir was “the only person in my cabinet.” In response, she said, “That was not a compliment, as men cannot have children.” You, Guy, said that “Golda Meir was Israel’s Margaret Thatcher. That she was the Iron Lady. That she was very tough…really smart, really insightful and a woman of principle. Yet you also said that “she was the wrong woman in the wrong place at the wrong time.” How do you reconcile these seemingly contradictory personalities?’
Elaborating on his response, Nativ was quick to note, “We’re all conflicted – it’s all true for her! She was tough, smart and had a lot of empathy. [And] she was also a great statesman. [However], she didn’t want to be prime minister. The Labor party fought among themselves and elected her. Now, yes, she was the “wrong” person because she was a good statesman, but not a good one [military] leader. Yes, she was there at the “wrong time” because it was the worst war Israel had ever had. I think she would have been better as a statesman, but I think she was the “grown up” one at the helm. She hasn’t lost her shit [unlike] Dayan and all the other commanders. She really was like their grandmother.
Speaking about the current state of political affairs, Nativ added: “I miss leaders like Ben-Gurion, Peres and Rabin because these people were straightforward, honest and took responsibility for their mistakes.”
The highly anticipated film is packed with an award-winning cast, including Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and Tony® winner Helen Mirren, as well as fellow Tony® Award winner Liev Schreiber.
And while Nattiv is all too familiar with the awards scene, having received his own Oscar (among other accolades), he was quick to recall a comment Meir made regarding the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. “There is a famous story about Golda on her deathbed and she looks at the peace treaty with Egypt… and after seeing [Menachem] Start and [Anwar] Sadat, she said, “Oh, they should get an Oscar for that!”
During the interview, Ben-Gurion also noted his grandfather’s lack of interest in pomp and ceremony, and claimed that this was a trait shared by Meir. Asked to respond to Ben-Gurion’s assessment, Nativ fully agreed, highlighting how Meir used his “simple” lifestyle to great effect with world leaders such as US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “It was very smart because it softened it,” Nativ said. She took this guy who came from Russia who [previously] there was nothing there and suddenly he is sitting in the kitchen eating soup [again]…she was mean and clever!”
Register at jnf.org/golda and watch the full interview on August 30 at 8:30pm US ET / 5:30pm US PT. For a complete list of Golda screenings in North America, visit goldafilm.com