The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Run Time: 93 minutes
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 Mi?dzyrzec, 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.
Tower City Cinemas
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6:15 PM
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 1:55 PM
Sunday, April 09, 2017 at 2:50 PM
JEWISH AND ISRAELI VISIONS
WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Recommended for High School Students +
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition
Leah Warshawski, Todd Soliday
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.
BIG SONIA (2016)
Todd Soliday, Eric Frith, Doug Loviska
This film is presented with the generous support of TED and SUSAN.