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Past Films

Big Sonia

  • Starring: Sonia Warshawski, SuEllen Fried, Caroline Kennedy
  • Director: Todd Soliday, Leah Warshawski
  • Genre(s): Documentary, Family, History
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 93 min.

Following the film there will be a post show conversation led by Rabbi Barbara Block from Temple Israel.

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski - great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor - runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than thirty years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

"Filmed with great respect and palpable love for its subject, "Big Sonia" is one of those documentaries that seems to bring its own light - just like the woman at its center."
- Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"This loving tribute of a documentary essentially aims to expand Sonia's audience."
- Nick Allen,
"A tenderly rendered inspirational piece about the healing power of forging human connections that wisely maintains its focus on its spirited, stylish main subject."
- Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times
"The loose structure is bound by a thread of motherhood. Sonia's children, two daughters and a son, are lively, intelligent, and deeply affected by their parents' trauma."
- Chris Packham, Village Voice
"The filmmakers, like Sonia herself, acknowledge the ongoing struggle that's essential to surviving such trauma. And as survivors' numbers dwindle, there's urgency when she insists on remembering."
- Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter