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Big Sonia

Directed by Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday

Big Sonia still

US, 2017, 93 min, in English

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski—great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor—runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than thirty years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.


A tenderly rendered inspirational piece about the healing power of forging human connections..

La Times

A funny. moving tribute to a great soul.

Boston Globe

Filmed with great respect and palpable love for its subject

Seattle Times

A documentary of special comfort.

She has fundamentally altered their perspectives on what it means to be free.

Santa Fe New Mexican

Sonia's spirit leaps off the screen.

Pittsburgh Magazine

An affecting portrait of one woman's lifelong struggle to come to terms with her survival.

Pittsburgh City Paper

The kind of documentary that goes for your soul.

The Stranger

A remarkable story of a remarkable woman.

Reel Talker

Not just another holocaust movie.

Hammer To Nail

This is a movie that can change your life.

Cinema 365

Engaging and thoughtful.

The Hollywood Reporter

A visual reminder of time's arrow and other, more important losses..

La Weekly

She is the best example we could have for keeping history alive and spreading love and goodness.


An impressive testament to love and loss.

Butler's Cinema Scene

It's a testament to the human spirit, showing how one can face unspeakable hate with love.

Kshb - Kansas City


Fox 4 C

Do not let the trauma of the past define you, use what you have and what you know to make yourself stronger .

Easy Reader News


The Villager

A holocaust survivor shares her life story.

Village Voice

This film quietly and assuredly calls upon viewers to cherish and acknowledge those willing to speak out about that time in history. BIG SONIA is an inspiring recollection of bravery in the face of unimaginable suffering..

Film Forward

She is the best example we could have for keeping history alive and spreading love and goodness.

Red Carpet Crash

a moving, engaging documentary.

Movie Nation

Big Sonia is a film about history, how we carry it with us and why it matters.

Eye For Film

Offers a look into how someone can experience such trepidation and come out on the other side..

Village Shalom

A loving and often funny tribute to an inspirational woman who changes lives by living hers to the fullest.

Grandma's Briefs