Award-winning British actress Helen Mirren is set to depict Israel’s only female prime minister (so far), Golda Meir, in a new biopic, Deadline reported on Tuesday .
The movie, entitled Golda, will follow her decisions and actions during Israel’s 1973 Yom Kippur War, and will be produced by award-winning producer Michael Kuhn and directed by Israeli-born director Guy Nattiv.
Nattiv won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 2019 for his movie Skin, which was eventually developed into a full-length feature.
Production on the Golda film will begin later this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The screenplay written by Nicholas Martin, “focuses on the dramatic and high-stakes decisions that Meir — also known as the ‘Iron Lady of Israel’ — faced during the Yom Kippur, which followed Egypt, Syria, and Jordan’s surprise attack on the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights in 1973,” according to Deadline.
Golda Meir is the first and only woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in Israel and the first of any country in the Middle East. Meir led a cabinet of males and was taken by surprise, along with the rest of the country, when Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian armies attacked the country on the eve of Yom Kippur in 1973. She died of lymphoma in 1978, four years after resigning from office.
“As someone who was born during the Yom Kippur War, I am honored to tell this fascinating story about the first and only woman to ever lead Israel. Nicholas Martin’s brilliant script dives into Golda’s final chapter as the country faces a deadly surprise attack during the holiest day of the year, a core of delusional generals undermining Golda’s judgment, all the while undergoing secret treatments for her illness,” said Guy Nattiv in a statement. “I could not be more excited to work with the legendary Miss Mirren to bring this epic, emotional and complex story to life.”
Mirren has supported Israel several times throughout her career, including at the 29th Israel Film Festival (IFF) in Los Angeles in 2015, where she was honored with the Career Achievement Award. Mirren lived on Kibbutz Ha’on in northern Israel after the Six-Day War and has had a few additional visits.
Separately, Israeli actress Shira Haas will also portray Golda Meir in a TV series executive produced by Barbara Streisand. The series, Lioness, will follow Meir from her birth in Kiev to her American upbringing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to her role in the formation of Israel and subsequent rise to the prime minister’s office.