Prisoner of Her Past Trailer

While attending the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin, Wisconsin, I had a chance to catch director Gordon Quinn’s documentary Prisoner of Her Past. The film focuses on Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich’s attempt to investigate and understand his mother Sonia’s experiences in the Holocaust as they begin to manifest themselves over sixty years later as moments of delusional distress. In 2001, she fled her home thinking that someone was trying to put a bullet in her head, an episode that was initially believed to be a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, it was soon revealed that Sonia was actually experiencing late-onset Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a result of her experiences during the Holocaust.

This led Howard to write an article about his mother’s disorder, and he went to Europe to attempt to learn more about her experiences during the war and to gain some insight into the suppressed emotions Sonia had been burying for all of these years.

While the film is definitely a powerful and touching experience, the true joy comes from watching Howard interact with his mother and investigate the remnants of her past. He has a great onscreen presence that really drives the film and gives you someone to root for. It’s a great story that’s definitely worth seeking out. I’ve embedded the trailer at the top of this post, so please have a look. Also, be sure to visit the Prisoner of Her Past official website (via Kartemquin Films) for more information on the film and where/how you can see it.

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