‘Golda,’ biopic about Israeli leader at war, wins top prize from Cinema for Peace Foundation


BERLIN ((JR)) – Israeli director Guy Nattiv and British actor Helen Mirren have received a Dove Award from the Cinema for Peace Foundation for their joint work in the 2023 biopic, “Golda,” in which Mirren stars as Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel.

The film focuses on Meir’s role during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Nattiv and Mirren attended the awards ceremony in Berlin this week, where their prize was presented by 102-year-old Margot Friedlander, one of the oldest remaining Holocaust survivors. The ceremony took place contemporaneously with the Berlinale International Film Festival, where “Golda” premiered last year.

In intervening year, Israel was plunged into war again with an attack by Hamas on a different Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah, on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war. Nattiv said on Instagram after receiving the award that he remained hopeful that the current Israel-Hamas war would end with the kind of rapprochement that resulted from Israel’s victory in the Yom Kippur War.

“In 1973 after the horrific Yom Kippur war, leaders took responsibility and accountability and resigned. Menachem Begin and Anwar Saadat made a historic peace agreement that saved millions of lives,” he wrote. “Today, we need to see new courageous leaders from Israel and Palestine with vision empathy and hope for a better future for the two nations.”

The ceremony took place at the Cinema for Peace gala, attended by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At the gala, Clinton’s talk was interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters, according to video posted to YouTube. The Israeli clarinetist Giora Feidman also led the crowd in a rendition of the Hebrew folk song “Shalom Chaverim.”

The Berlin-based Cinema for Peace initiative was founded after the 9/11 terror attack on the United States and in 2008 expanded to include a foundation whose goal is to “foster change through film.” Last year, the foundation gave the Dove Award to “All Quiet on the Western Front,” based on the classic World War I novel. This year, it announced that it would issue a special prize for “filmmakers whose work supports the protection of Jewish life, reminding of the Holocaust and the events on October 7 all over the world.”

“Golda” shared the organization’s Most Valuable Film of the Year award with James Hawes’ “One Life,” which stars Anthony Hopkins as Sir Nicholas Winton, a London broker who rescued more than 600 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia; and Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone Of Interest,” about the everyday life of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess and his family living just a wall away from the extermination camp.

The founder of the Cinema for Peace Foundation, Jaka Bizilj, was instrumental in bringing Russian dissident Alexey Navalny to Germany after Navalny’s near-fatal poisoning in 2020. Navalny died last week in a Russian prison.