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Village Shalom Hosts Special Screening of ‘Big Sonia’


The Village Shalom Social Hall transformed into a packed movie theatre on Jan. 15, for two special screenings of Big Sonia.

The documentary chronicles the life of Sonia Warshawski, one of Kansas City’s last remaining Holocaust survivors.

A crowd packed the house to view Big Sonia in the Village Shalom Social Hall. 

From Sonia’s harrowing time spent in Auschwitz during the war, to her most recent battle of keeping her late husband’s tailor shop open for business, Big Sonia tells the story of a lifelong survivor.

Big Sonia has been making its round across the U.S. and has been exclusively available for viewing in the Kansas City area at Glenwood Arts Theater since Dec. 1.

However, the documentary has a close tie to the Overland Park retirement community. Warshawski s sister-in-law Ann Federman resides in The Villas at Village Shalom.

A segment of Big Sonia was filmed with an appearance from Federman in her villa. Since the release of the documentary, she has been encouraging everyone to see the film.  

Big Sonia, did justice and more, everyone should see this movie,” said Federman. “There’s so much going on right now, and so many say [the Holocaust] never happened. They can see Sonia is a live person who went through it.”  

Along with Village Shalom Director of Life Enrichment DeAnn Hanson and co-producer of the documentary, Leah Warshawski, Federman helped facilitate the screenings at Village Shalom.

Big Sonia, brought in a full house, filling the Social Hall to the brim for both showings at the retirement community.

“As a Jewish faith-based community, I feel it is important to support and share these powerful stories,” said Village Shalom Director of Life Enrichment DeAnn Hanson. “Personally, I really appreciated hearing Sonia’s story of survival and witnessing her inspiring positive spirit.”

For those who missed out on viewing Big Sonia at Village Shalom, the film has been held over at the Glenwood Arts Theater until Jan. 25.