Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois (JGSI)
Sunday, June 24th 2012

1:30 Refreshments (There will be no help desk at this meeting.)

2:00 Program:
Special Showing of Prisoner of Her Past at Temple Beth Israel.  Howard Reich will join us with his personal commentary.

Prisoner of Her Past tracks Howard's journey across the United States and Eastern Europe to discover why his mother believes - to this day - that the world has conspired to try to execute her.

The documentary Prisoner of Her Past will be screened at the Jewish Genealogical Society meeting on Sunday, June 24, 2012, in Skokie. The film’s producer-writer-narrator, Howard Reich, the Chicago Tribune's jazz critic, will comment on the story of his mother, Sonia, a Jew from Poland, who survived the Holocaust as a child by running and hiding.

Decades later, believing that the world had conspired to execute her, Sonia Reich fled her house one night, suitcase in hand, insisting that someone was going to shoot her in the head. In the documentary film, Howard Reich explains how he returned to Dubno (now in Ukraine) to try to find answers to questions about his mother's past that ultimately led to her late-onset post-traumatic stress disorder.

The film ventures beyond Sonia Reich's story, to show what can be done to help traumatized children today. It looks in particular at young victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Howard Reich first wrote about his mother in a Chicago Tribune article in 2003 and then published a book about her and his research into her past, The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich, in 2006. His documentary film came out in 2010.

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