AARP Kansas City Shows ‘Big Sonia’ to an enthusiastic audience!
Big Sonia, featuring local Kansas City resident, Sonia Warshawski, was nominated for an AARP’s Movies for Grownups Award for Best Documentary in 2017. It is such a great film, AARP Kansas City offered a free screening for AARP members and their guests at the Glenwood Arts Theater on December 4th. The response was overwhelmingly positive from attendees of all ages! “So many people came to me after the screening to tell me how moving the film was,” said Diane Hall from AARP in Kansas City.
Big Sonia definitely has a local flavor, chronicling not only the life of Sonia Warshawski but also the demise of Kansas City’s Metcalf South Mall. Sonia, known to many in Kansas City from John’s Tailoring in the old Metcalf South Mall, is the subject of this film. The film interweaves Sonia’s past and present using first-person narrative with stories from family and friends. Sonia, the proprietor of John’s Tailoring for over 30 years and a Holocaust survivor, is still a diva at age 90+! Although the film deals with some serious subject matter, it is done in such a way that it is appropriate for both young and more mature audiences.
The film covers Sonia’s experiences during the Holocaust, her work with prison inmates, speaking at local schools and the fate of her business in the Metcalf South Mall. The theme of hope that Sonia seems to have carried throughout her life is found in every part of the movie. And hope is the message she shares with everyone she meets. People lined up after AARP Kansas City’s showing to meet Sonia, give her a hug, and take photos with her. Invariably, Sonia took the time to talk to each person, hold their hand, and stress the importance of hope.
AARP’s showing of Big Sonia also featured a Q & A session with the filmmakers and Sonia’s daughters in addition to the star of the film! Attendees who want to download their photos taken by AARP’s photographer can click here to download their photos.