For years, Sonia Warshawski (91) has been an inspirational public speaker at schools and prisons, where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager have inspired countless people. When Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop, she’s confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop, or relocate. Ironically, Sonia’s shop is the last open business in an otherwise desolate Kansas City mall.
For a woman who admits she stays busy “to keep the dark parts away”, facing retirement dredges up fears she’d forgotten she had, and her horrific past resurfaces. BIG SONIA explores what it means to be a survivor and how intergenerational trauma affects families and generations. Will you let your trauma define you? Or will your past make you stronger?
“Engaging and thoughtful… Key to the strength of Big Sonia is its refusal to give in to easy bromides. Its use of animation to illustrate Sonia’s memories spins off her own artful drawings in a way that amps the sense of unspeakable horror rather than sugarcoating it. The filmmakers, like Sonia herself, acknowledge the ongoing struggle that’s essential to surviving such trauma.” … – The Hollywood Reporter
Running Time: 93 min.
Directed by: Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday
Distributor: Argot Pictures
Best Documentary, Napa Film Festival, 2016
Audience Award, Napa Film Festival, 2016
AARP Movies For GrownUps Nominee, 2017
Best Documentary, Wilbur Award for Religious Communicators, 2017
Best Local Film, Movie Trip Cinema (Kansas City), 2017
Audience Award, Seatlle Jewish Film Festival, 2017
Best Heartland Documentary, Kansas City Film Festival, 2017
Best Film / Audience Award, Cleveland International Film Festival, 2017
Best Documentary / Audience Award, Monadnock International Film Festival, 2017 Audience Award, Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, 2017
Grand Jury Prize: Best Documentary, Barcelona International Film Festival, 2017 Audience Award, Mendocino Film Festival, 2017
Audience Choice Award, Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, 2017