In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Lawrence Arts Center’s Free State Festival presented a screening of the new documentary, Big Sonia.
In the last store in a defunct shopping mall in Kansas City, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to resist 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.
After the film a community discussion took place with author Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and a Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other), researcher Andrea Weis (Kansas Jewish History Project) and Dr. Samuel Brody (KU Jewish Studies Department).