Big Sonia

Watch Big Sonia

"Survivor. Grandma. Diva."
  • 2017
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 7.5  (457)
  • 71

Big Sonia is a documentary film that tells the story of Sonia Warshawski, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor and tailor who runs her own store, John’s Tailoring, in a fading shopping mall in Kansas City. Directed by Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski, the granddaughter of Sonia, the film explores the remarkable life of this extraordinary woman who survived the horrors of the Holocaust and went on to build a new life in America.

The movie unfolds as a poignant and deeply moving narrative that explores the transformative power of resilience, determination, and hope in the face of adversity. Sonia’s story is both inspiring and heartbreaking, as she shares her memories of growing up in Poland, surviving the ghetto, and being sent to multiple concentration camps with her mother and sister. Despite the unimaginable horrors she faced, Sonia remains a beacon of hope, reminding us of the indomitable human spirit that allows us to survive and thrive even in the darkest of times.

The film is structured around 3 interwoven themes that provide insight into Sonia’s life and character: her past, her present, and her legacy. The film opens with Sonia sharing her memories of growing up in Poland and her family's journey through the horrors of the Holocaust. Through a series of interviews and photographs, we gain insight into how she has overcome significant challenges throughout her life.

Throughout the film, we see Sonia interacting with her family, friends, and customers at her tailoring shop. She emerges as a loving, tough, and indefatigable person who refuses to let age or adversity get in her way. She is fiercely independent and has a sharp mind and an even sharper wit that is revealed through her interactions with others. Sonia’s shop is a reflection of herself: cluttered, cluttered, and full of life. It is a place where around her past and the many lessons she has learned.

As the film progresses, it becomes clear that Sonia has a greater mission than just running a tailor shop. She is an activist and public speaker who passionately advocates for the teaching of Holocaust history and the importance of living a fearless and fulfilling life. Through her work, she seeks to honor the memory of those who perished and to educate future generations. She wants the world to know that everyone can make a positive difference, no matter how seemingly small.

The movie is careful not to sugarcoat or romanticize Sonia’s story. It shows the pain and trauma that she endured and the long-lasting impact it had on her life. But it also shows the immense resilience, courage, and compassion that she has displayed to create a life filled with joy and purpose. The film truly captures the essence of Sonia’s spirit, conveying the emotions that come with her legacy.

The direction and cinematography are both excellent, making the film an immersive experience. The filmmakers use a combination of interviews, photographs, and archive footage to paint a rich, multi-dimensional portrait of Sonia and the world she comes from. The editing is masterful, seamlessly weaving together the past and present to provide a sense of continuity and a better understanding of the events that shaped Sonia’s life.

Overall, Big Sonia is a powerful, compelling, and deeply moving film that provides viewers with a unique insight into the life and achievements of an extraordinary woman who epitomizes the strength of the human spirit. It inspires us to have the courage to face our challenges, embrace life’s possibilities, and to make a difference in the world. Sonia is truly a remarkable woman who deserves the recognition and admiration that this film brings to her.

Big Sonia is a 2017 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 71.

Big Sonia
Where to Watch Big Sonia
Big Sonia is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Big Sonia for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (457)
  • Metascore