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Directed by Leah Warshawski

United States 2016 93 mins.

Big Sonia explores what it means to be a survivor and how this affects families and generations. One of the few remaining survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski, the filmmaker’s grandmother, has shared her inspirational story for years. The colorful 91-year-old “diva,” known for wearing leopard print and high heels, has spent decades running her late husband’s tailoring business, the last shop in a dying mall in Kansas City. When she is evicted, Sonia must face another of life’s challenges: her fear of retirement. Winner of numerous audience awards at film festivals throughout the country, Sonia’s inspiring story reveals that it’s up to you to choose your future.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.