Golda's Balcony (film)

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Golda's Balcony
Directed byScott Schwartz
Written byWilliam Gibson
Based onGolda's Balcony
by William Gibson
Produced by
StarringTovah Feldshuh
CinematographyYves Gerard Issembert
Edited by
Music byMark Bennett
Distributed byManhattan Ensemble Theatre
Release date
  • January 24, 2019 (2019-01-24) (Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Golda's Balcony is a 2019 American biographical film based on the 2003 play Golda's Balcony,[1] written by William Gibson.[2] The film captures a solo performance by Tovah Feldshuh[3] — who plays Golda Meir and numerous other characters in the course of the film's eighty-six minutes — during a multi-camera, video recording in front of a live audience in May 2003.[4][5][6][7][8] The multi-camera video recording was edited into a motion picture in early 2019, after which it went on to become an Official Selection at numerous film festivals in North America.[9] As of 2020, the film had been selected for 75 Film Festivals in North and South American, as well as Europe and Asia and, in addition, had won twenty Audience Choice Awards as "Best Feature" among the festivals to which it had been invited.[5][10][11][12][13][14]


The film is, like the play, a dramatization of a middle of the night reminiscence by a dying Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, as she endures insomnia while tracing the main events of her seventy-nine years of life. While the plot is anchored in the events of her Premiership during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Golda relives (and describes to the audience) the events of her childhood during the 1903 Kishinev pogrom in Moscow, her emigration to Milwaukee at the age of seven, her teenage activism in the Labor Zionist movement during World War I, her emigration to the British Mandate for Palestine in 1921, her rise in Israeli politics from the 1920s through the 1970s (as an important member of both the Histadrut and the Yishuv, then Minister of Labor, Foreign Minister, and finally Prime Minister of Israel) — finally climaxing with her consideration of the Samson Option to drop nuclear weapons on the armies of the Arab states at the peak of the Yom Kippur War.[15][16][17]


Background and production[edit]

The play Golda's Balcony made its Manhattan debut in March, 2003.[18] At some point during the play's Off-Broadway run (in May, 2003), a multi-camera, video recording in front of a live audience of the play was captured on video, and later (in 2019) assembled as a film by producer Fishelson and video director Gerard Issembert.[8] By January 2019, the film was invited to make its World Premiere at the 2019 Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival on January 24, at the Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in Jupiter, Florida.[19] At the Palm Beach Festival, the film was awarded the “Audience Award Winner for Best Feature.”[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Since the film's World Premiere in Palm Beach in early 2019, the film earned Official Selections to over 70 festivals throughout North and South America, as well as Europe and Asia, including festivals in Boston, Philadelphia, Austin, Hong Kong, Vienna, São Paulo, Los Angeles (Closing Night),[20] Detroit,[21] Phoenix,[22][23] Chicago,[24] St. Louis, São Paulo, Brazil, and Tampa Bay.[25][9][5] As of April 11, 2019, the film had earned the Audience Award for "Best Feature," "Best Narrative Film" or "Audience Choice Winner" at all 20 of the competitive festivals it had competed in — including those of Boston, Philadelphia, Austin, Hong Kong, Palm Beach, Pittsburgh,[26] Charlotte,[27] Honolulu,[10][12] New Jersey,[14] New Hampshire, Rockland County (NY), Winnipeg and Dayton, Ohio.[20]


  1. ^ Simonson, Robert (April 27, 2004). "Golda's Balcony to Begin National Tour in September 2005". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  2. ^ Carr, David (November 27, 2008). "William Gibson, Playwright, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "LPTW to present Oral History with Tovah Feldshuh 6/6 @ NY Library for the Performing Arts". Talkin' Broadway. March 1, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tovah Feldshuh biography". March 1, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Kanter, Abby (March 6, 2019). "Tovah Feldshuh revels in her 'greatest role'". NJjewishNews site. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Davenport, Ken (March 6, 2016). "Interview 21: Scott Schwartz". Candid Conversations with Broadway Pros, v. 3. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Burke, Jim (May 25, 2018). "Review: The Walking Dead's Tovah Feldshuh triumphs in Golda's Balcony". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Meth Kanter, Abby (March 6, 2019). "What, potential viewers may ask, is 'Golda's Balcony, The Film'". Times of site. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Golda's Balcony, The Film (2019) FilmFreeway website entry". March 1, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Por, Gabor (March 1, 2019). "Golda's Balcony, The Film (2019)". Jewish Film Festivals online site. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  11. ^ "29th Annual Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival". January 21, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "2019 Honolulu Jewish Film Festival". March 21, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  13. ^ "Westchester Jewish Film Festival 2019". March 31, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "The 19th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival is proud to announce this year's audience awards, Best of the Fest". April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Simon, John (November 10, 2003). "Ding-Dong". New York Magazine - Theater Review. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Henley, Christopher (April 14, 2014). "Feldshuh is brilliant in Golda's Balcony". DC Theatre Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Kuchwara, Michael (October 15, 2003). "Golda Meir, Public and Private, on Stage". Associated Press. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  18. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (April 1, 2003). "THEATER REVIEW; A 1977 Golda Meir Gets Into Shape". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  19. ^ "Palm Beach County is Hosting Three Major cultural Festivals". January 15, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "The Los Angeles Jewish film Festival". Celebrating the Jewish Experience Through film. April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "2019 Film Lineup". April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Enquist, Nick (February 6, 2019). "Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival features screening of 'Golda's Balcony, The Film'". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  23. ^ O'Connor, Taylor (February 17, 2019). "Film festival hopes to enlighten guests about Judaism". The Peoria Times. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  24. ^ "Golda's Balcony, The Film (2019) Midwest Premiere". March 15, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival". April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  26. ^ "Film Pittsburgh - Films". March 31, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  27. ^ "2019 CJFF Lineup". / March 20, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.

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