“Contradictions? I love this question!” exclaimed Academy Award ® Winning filmmaker and director of Golda, Guy Nattiv, in response to a question posed by Alon Ben-Gurion, the grandson of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.
During the enthralling interview between the two luminaries of the Jewish and Zionist world, to be aired on August 30th, Ben-Gurion took Nattiv to task on previous comments he had made about Israel’s 4th Prime Minister, asking, “…my grandfather, David Ben-Gurion, once said that Golda Meir was ‘the only man in my cabinet.’ In response, she said,’ It was no compliment as men can’t have children.’ You, Guy, have said that ‘Golda Meir was the Margaret Thatcher of Israel. That she was the Iron Lady. That she was very tough…really smart, really savvy, and a woman with principles.’ Yet, you have also said that ‘she was the wrong woman in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ How do you reconcile these seemingly contradictory personas?”
Expanding on his response, Nattiv quickly noted, “We are all contradictory - all of it is true about her! She was tough, smart, and had a lot of empathy. [And] she was also a great stateswoman. [However], she didn’t want to be Prime Minister. The Labor Party were fighting between themselves and chose her. Now, yes, she was the ‘wrong’ person because she was a good stateswoman but not a good [military] leader. Yes, she was there at the ‘wrong time’ because it was the worst war Israel ever had. I think she would have been better as a stateswoman, but I do think she was the ‘grown-up’ in charge. She didn’t lose her sh*t [unlike] Da’yan and all the other commanders. She was really like their grandmother.”
Opining on the current state of political affairs, Nattiv added, “I miss leaders like Ben-Gurion , Peres, and Rabin because these people were straight, honest, and took responsibility for their mistakes.”
The highly anticipated film is replete with award-winning actors, including Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and Tony Award® 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 made by Meir about the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. “There’s a famous story of Golda on her deathbed, and she’s watching the peace treaty with Egypt…and upon seeing [Menachem] Begin and [Anwar] Sadat, she said, ‘Oh, they need to get an Oscar for that!’.”
During the interview, Ben-Gurion also noted his grandfather’s disinterest in pomp and ceremony and claimed it was a trait shared by Meir. Asked to respond to Ben-Gurion’s assessment, Nattiv was in total agreement, highlighting how Meir leveraged her “simple” lifestyle to great effect with world leaders like U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. “It was very smart because it softened him,” said Nattiv. She took this guy who came from Russia, who [previously] had nothing there, and suddenly he’s sitting in a kitchen eating soup [again]…she was sneaky and smart!”
Register at jnf.org/golda and watch the full interview on August 30th at 8.30 pm US ET / 5.30 pm US PT. For a complete listing of showtimes of Golda in North America, visit goldafilm.com