Cleveland International Film Festival } March 29 – April 9, 2017 Presented by Dollar Bank

BIG SONIA

 

Year: 2016
Country: USA
Run Time: 93 minutes

Tickets

BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA
BIG SONIA

Six days a week, 90-year-old Sonia Warshawski climbs into her oversized Oldsmobile and heads for the only store still open in a decrepit Kansas City shopping mall. Long after Macy’s and The Limited were boarded up, John’s Tailoring still stands. Sonia, under five feet tall, is herself a survivor—of the Holocaust. Deported from Międzyrzec, Poland at age 13, she lived through Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. Now her work at John’s helps her to not think about the “dark spot.” BIG SONIA is a heartfelt labor of love by her granddaughter Leah Warshawski. Sonia is upbeat and decidedly old school, always made up and coiffed, fresh flowers on the shop counter. She greets customers of 30 years by name. Even Vernon, the lone mall security guard, comes around to check on her. Now Sonia’s most important work are her talks in schools and prisons, where her story brings middle schoolers and hardened criminals to tears. We’re going backwards, she tells them: hate is still growing in the world. But no matter what you’ve been through, you can choose who to be in the future. Everybody better listen to BIG SONIA. —B.B.

BIG SONIA

CIFF41 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Sidebars
JEWISH AND ISRAELI VISIONS
WOMEN OF THE WORLD

Genre
Recommended for High School Students +

Competitions
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Director
Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday

Producer
Leah Warshawski

Cinematography
Todd Soliday

Editing
Todd Soliday, Eric Frith, Doug Loviska

Director Bio
Leah Warshawski produces documentaries, television productions, commercials, and branded entertainment in remote parts of the world. Todd Soliday is a jack-of-all-trades with 25 years' experience in production and post. He specializes in documentary storytelling and adventure films.

Select Filmography
BIG SONIA (2016)

Print Source

This film is presented with the generous support of TED and SUSAN.

Film Sponsors

Kiwanis Foundation of Cleveland

Community Partners

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

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