WATCH: First look at Helen Mirren as Israel’s only female prime minister

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

WATCH: First look at Helen Mirren as Israel’s only female prime minister

"Helen became Golda on a spiritual and cellular level," says film director at Berlin festival

Helen Mirren as Golda Meir. Credit: Jasper Wolf
Helen Mirren as Golda Meir. Credit: Jasper Wolf

A teaser trailer for a film about Golda Meir has been released following a screening of the biopic at the Berlin Film Festival.

British actress Helen Mirren plays the Israeli Prime Minister in the movie by Oscar-winning director Israeli Guy Nattiv and based on a screenplay by Nicholas Martin.

‘Golda’ focuses on the events of the Yom Kippur War, when Meir and her all-male cabinet were taken by surprise by the attack on the eve of the holiday in 1973 by Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian forces.

The trailer showcases the dramatic telephone conversation between Meir and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, played by American actor Liev Schreiber, over the fate of 30,000 trapped soldiers belonging to Egypt.

Nattiv told Hollywood news site Deadline that Mirren “turns her into a flesh and blood human, capturing the impossible situation Golda faced, all while secretly undergoing cancer treatments. Golda was the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place, leading a country on the verge of destruction. It is still today considered a huge trauma for Israelis. Our film is a deep dive into this tragedy.”

Playing Meir, Mirren says: “We’ll send them water when they send our prisoners back and (Egyptian President Anwar) Sadat agrees to direct talks with Israel, not the’ Zionist entity’, Israel.”

Meir then recalls her childhood in in Kyiv as  Kissinger warns her of the implications of destroying Egypt’s forces: “Let me tell you about the Russians, Henry. When I was a child in Ukraine, at Christmas time my father would board up the windows of our house to protect us from Cossacks who would get drunk and attack Jews. My father would hide us in the cellar… my father’s face, Henry, I will never forget that look. All he wanted to do was protect his children. I am not that little girl hiding in the cellar.”

Golda Meir

Recalling the moment the camera crew shot the scene, Nattiv said “when we went in for Helen’s close up I had goosebumps as she played Golda recalling her haunted childhood so perfectly. Helen became Golda on a spiritual and cellular level, and this moment was electrifying to watch.”

Mirren describes Meir as “a formidable, intransigent and powerful leader. It is a great challenge to portray her at the most difficult moment of her extraordinary life. I only hope I do her justice!”

The Academy-award winning actress was criticised for accepting the role because she is not Jewish, with Maureen Lipman telling Variety: “Helen will be great. Good actress, sexy and intelligent. Looks the part. [But] my opinion, and that’s what it is, a mere opinion, is that if the character’s race, creed or gender drives or defines the portrayal then the correct – for want of an umbrella [term] – ethnicity should be a priority.”

Mirren has taken on Jewish roles in the past, playing a Mossad agent in 2010 thriller The Debt, and as a Jewish refugee in 2015 drama Woman in Gold.

Also in ‘Golda’, Lior Ashkenzi, one of Israel’s most prominent actors, will play chief of staff, David Elazar, with other cast members including Ellie Piercy (Black Mirror, The Dig), Ed Stoppard (Judy, Youth), Rotem Keinan, Dvir Benedek, Dominic Mafham, Ben Caplan, Kit Rakusen and Emma Davies.

Film credit: Deadline

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: