A Woman Called Golda
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In 1977, Golda Meir returns to her old school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she tells the students her life story. She recounts her early years in Russia, and how her family emigrated to America to avoid the persecution of Jews throughout Europe. As a young woman, Golda dreams of fighting for a country for all Jews of the world. She marries Morris Meyerson, and they eventually move to Palestine to work in a kibbutz, although they soon end up leaving, much to Golda's disappointment. They move to Jerusalem and have two children, but Golda's tremendous ambition soon drives her and Morris apart, although they remain married until his death in 1951.
''A Woman Called Golda,''(Monday, April 26, and Monday, May 3; to be repeated Wednesday, April 28, and Wednesday, May 5, check local listings for times) is an absorbing, frankly slanted and one-sided history of a woman who escaped from the pogroms of Russia, who emigrated from the public schools of Milwaukee to find her future on a kibbutz in Israel.
It is almost inevitable that a history of Golda Meir would also turn out to be a history of Israel, so intertwined was the growth of both. How she found her final calling in the newly formed state of Israel, the personal sacrifices she made, her feelings of uncertainty, have been made the foundation of a straightforward television drama with universal implications concerning the development of an intelligent, dedicated woman. ''Golda'' overflows with the exhilaration of commitment.
I spoke to director Alan Gibson who revealed that Miss Bergman had resisted playing the role for a long time, being unable to identify with Mrs. Meir's appearance and convinced that it would be disaster trying to play a woman still remembered so well. As she read more and thought about her, Miss Bergman finally succumbed when she was convinced that she could do it without heavy makeup and theatrical tricks.
Her film roles mirrored her career image as it changed from the sweet woman dominated by strong men, to a budding independence, to a sense of insight and strength epitomized by her performance as Golda Meir.
Meryl Streep won her second Best Actress Oscar last month for her performance as Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in the film The Iron Lady. The film pulls apart the layers of expectations for Thatcher as a woman, as a person with no personal military service, as an unlikely candidate to lead her party, as a spouse, and as an individual with regrets who faces too many tradeoffs.
Something I've always heard about Golda Meir from my (Jewish) family is \"great politician, but such an ugly woman, poor thing\".When I read your post, the part about Munich made me think that maybe, this is a common conception about Meir and her purported \"ugliness\" makes her--in the eyes of the screenwriter at least--somehow less \"feminine\" and therefore better suited to male-style/business as usual politics.
I actually really like Primary Colors, but partly because I look at it from a different view. You're absolutely right about it not being an accurate or particularly nuanced depiction of Susan Stanton as a female politican, but I love its depiction of the campaign staff. Kathy Bates is a great strong woman character and I love the scene where the short-haired woman staffer tells Billy Bob Thorton's character off for sexually harassing her: =ZI9k6Fo2mDY
Have you watched the movie The Contender with Joan Allen That's another one with interesting gender dynamics that speaks to issues around how women's behaviour is scrutinized on a different level than men. She plays a woman who faces a sex scandal while being nominated for Vice President. I don't actually enjoy it as much because I think the acting and dialogue is only so-so, but it's interesting.
Then it was discovered that these children did not want to play, they wanted to learn to do things, and in a little time there were classes in sewing, crocheting, embroidering, painting, and the like, eagerly attended by scores of bright faced people, ambitious to make use of every opportunity to learn. The organization was called the Milwaukee Jewish Mission.
One evening, about a year before the vision of the woman materialized into the new building, a group of gentlemen who were liberal contributors to the work were invited to a little informal dinner at The Settlement. There were only a dozen of them, and the hostesses were the ladies of the board. It was not at all an elaborate dinner, but the dishes were served the old-fashioned way ones which had been cooked by the mothers of these men, favorite old dishes of their boyhood days, and the recipes were taken from the Settlement Cookbook. Before the dinner was over each man present had subscribed either $500 or $1,000 toward the building fund, and each one pledged himself to go forth and raise money for the enterprise. Emanuel D. Adler gave with especial generosity of his time and effort in raising the money, and it was but a little time before the required $30,000 was in hand. The building, which was erected at 601 Ninth street, was occupied November 11, 1910, and its dedication on February 22, 1911, was free from debt. 59ce067264