The remarkable award-winning documentary “Big Sonia” will be shown at 7 p.m. tonight and Thursday at the Vashon Theatre and will include a Q & A with Seattle-based filmmakers Eric Frith and Todd Soliday.
The film is a poignant narrative about Sonia Warshawski, 91, an inspirational public speaker, great-grandmother, businesswoman and survivor of the Holocaust whose own story has galvanized countless people who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever.
In the film, Warshawski runs a tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. When she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts memories of her past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A press release calls it a “moving story of generational trauma and healing … a laugh-out-loud portrayal of the power of love to triumph over bigotry and the power of truth-telling to heal.”
Directors Leah Warshawski, Sonia’s granddaughter, andTodd Soliday said the film is about humanity’s potential to overcome the worst of the world’s atrocities with compassion and understanding. It’s a film, they said, “about survival, yes, but not only the heroic kind. It’s also about everyday acts of survival: to overlook slights; to rise above bigotry, ignorance and self-doubt; to push for forgiveness even when our instincts urge retribution or bitterness,” they said. “We premiered ‘Big Sonia’ the day after the 2016 presidential election. We had no way of knowing then that the themes of our film would find new relevance.”
Tickets are $9 and sold at the box office.