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“Big Sonia” at the Quad, NYC by Seth Shire

big-sonia

Sonia Warshawski, the subject of “Big Sonia.”

November 18, 2017.  For this past two weeks this blog has been devoted to documentaries presented as part of DOC NYC 2017.  Therefore, I can only call it a wonderful accident of timing that one of my favorite documentaries from DOC NYC 2016, and the one that has stayed with me the most over the past year, “Big Sonia,”  will open at the Quad Cinema on Friday, November 17.  “Big Sonia” is not only a fascinating documentary with a terrific main character in Sonia Warshawski (yes, even documentaries must have great characters) but a documentary that should be seen in light of our current political climate. In other words, those who forget history will repeat it.
Sonia Warshawski is an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, who lives in Kansas City. She takes every opportunity to tell her story of survival.  She was in a series of concentration camps, from ages 13 – 19, starting in Poland in 1939. Sonia’s inspiration comes from having seen a modern day skinhead. She realized then that she had survived the Holocaust in order to tell others what had happened to her.

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Big Sonia

big-sonia

Sonia Warshawski, the subject of “Big Sonia.”

November 21, 2016.  DOC NYC concluded its run of incredible documentaries this past Thursday, November 17. Even though the festival has ended, I am still making my way through the screener links sent to me from the festival’s publicist. These screener links enable me to watch DOC NYC documentaries online, as opposed to having to attend screenings in person. While I am a big advocate of seeing films in theaters with, hopefully, respectful audience members who do not talk, or need to check their smart phones every five minutes, screener links fit nicely into my all too busy schedule.

Of the DOC NYC documentaries that I have seen so far, and about which I have written during the past two weeks, “Big Sonia” more than rises to the standards of this festival. It is not only a fascinating documentary with a terrific main character in Sonia Warshawski (yes, even documentaries must have great characters) but a documentary that should be seen in light of our current political climate. In other words, those who forget history will repeat it. Read the rest of this entry