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Big Sonia

May 08, 2017
7:30 PM

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Closing Night: Big Sonia screening with Joe’s Violin

Philadelphia Premiere

Directed by Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski

Big Sonia
A mere four foot eight inches tall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski cannot help but leave an immense impression on everyone she meets. From her loyal customers at the tailor shop to the high school students, church groups, and prisoners whose lives have been so remarkably transformed by hearing her story, Kansas City’s last remaining Holocaust survivor is a force to be reckoned with. Spending the entirety of her teenage years shuttled between concentration camps, Sonia is no stranger to adversity. Her experiences during the war were horrifying and reprehensible, a nightmare Sonia is unable to rid from her memory. Yet, with all of the pain she still carries inside, Sonia’s outlook on life is anything but “doom and gloom.” With her wild fashion sense and larger-than-life persona, Sonia, along with her daughter Regina, are committed to inspiring others with a powerful message of hope.

This award-winning, poignant documentary by husband and wife filmmaking team Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski (Sonia’s granddaughter) artfully integrates animations inspired by Sonia’s own drawings and revelatory interviews with her family and friends.

Joe's Violin
This Academy Award-nominated documentary short directed by Kahane Cooperman tells how a Holocaust survivor’s donation of his violin transforms the life of a young aspiring musician.

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