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February 24, 2018 @ 10:00 am to approx. 12:30 pm

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

Genre:  Documentary
Language:  English
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



Trailer:  TEASER



February 24, 2018
10:00 am to approx. 12:30 pm
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Desert Film Society
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Historic Camelot Theatre @ the Palm Springs Cultural Center
2300 E Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262 United States
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