“The story of Sonia’s life, lovingly told in this deeply emotional film, proves the resilience of the human spirit, and that love always wins over hate.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The documentary “Big Sonia” opens as a quiet portrait of Sonia, an older woman who puts on stylish outfits and bright lipstick every day to go to work in her tailoring shop. Even though her business is the only one still open in an empty Kansas mall, longtime customers still stop in for hugs and chats with Sonia.

As she moves around her shop, tattooed numbers on her arm peek out of her sleeve, and we realize that this cheerful woman is a Holocaust survivor. As a teenager, Sonia, her mother and sister were sent to concentration camps in Poland during World War II. Now Sonia speaks to high school students and prisoners about her horrific experiences, hoping to inspire others to become agents of peace, not hate.

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