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Chicago Preview: Big Sonia

Chicago Preview: Big Sonia

Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 2:00 pm


Spunky Holocaust survivor will keep telling her story until bullying and discrimination stopHuffington Post

Watch the trailer

Standing at 4'8" tall, Sonia Warshawski is a tiny woman with a huge personality. For years, she’s been a business owner and inspirational public speaker, sharing her story of surviving the Holocaust with people afraid that their own traumas would define them. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop, she's confronted with an agonizing decision about her own future.

Award-winning producer/co-director Leah Warshawski is Sonia’s granddaughter. She introduced the film and led a post-show discussion.

Leah WarshawskiLeah Warshawski produces and directs documentaries, television shows, and commercials, often in remote parts of the world. Her first feature film, Finding Hillywood (2013), won six awards including the Critic's Award at the Sebastopol Documentary Festival and the Audience Award at the Napa Film Festival. In addition, she co-founded and manages, an online professional network for Rwandan filmmakers designed to help grow the film economy in East Africa. The site is supported by international partners including the Business Council for Peace and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

From The Jewish Week (New York)
Sonia Warshawski [Big Sonia] knows the exact moment when she decided to go public with her past as a survivor of Auschwitz. She was watching television and saw a group of skinhead Holocaust deniers spouting their line, and a voice in her head said, “This was the reason you survived — you have to speak for [the ones who weren’t so fortunate]." 

Sunday Cinema Film Series

5 fascinating films about Jewish lives
4 winter afternoons
4 special speakers
4 daring documentaries
3 premieres
1 short, sweet work of fiction 

Chicago Premiere: Finding Babel
January 29 at 2 pm

Chicago Preview: Big Sonia
February 5 at 2 pm

Chicago Premiere: Morgenthau
February 12 at 2 pm

Double Feature | Short Film: Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion | Chicago Premiere: Torah Treasures and Curious Trash
February 19 at 2 pm

What is Sunday Cinema?

Sunday Cinema is a mini Jewish Film Festival that happened over four Sundays in January and February, bringing new Jewish films to Chicago that area audiences wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to see.

This year’s theme is Jewish Lives. The films all profile exceptional individuals whose stories reveal the depth and diversity of the Jewish experience. Included are four documentary films — shot in locales from Ukraine to Jerusalem to Kansas — along with one wonderful short film from Ireland.

The films were screened in the beautiful, state-of-the-art Feinberg Theater at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.


Sunday Cinema Lead Sponsor
The Wilkow Family

Executive Producer Level Sponsors
John & Joan Gilchrist, Executive Directors-Investments