Produced from 2004-2009
Prisoner of Her Past
Sonia Reich, a survivor of the Holocaust begins to
suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at
the age of 69, years after the end of the Holocaust.
Her son, Howard Reich goes on a journey to figure
out why this is happening to his mother.
On February 15, 2001 Sonia ran out of her house. She
thought that someone was going to put a bullet in
To this day Sonia believes that everyone is out to get
No one really knows what caused this, the only
answer is PTSD. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
have been ruled out.
Sonia does not even recognize photos of herself as a
child in the Holocaust.
Here is a picture of Sonia, her response to the picture
was, who is that, a monkey?
Sonia as a little girl
Sonia is living her life with PTSD, the film shows her
suffering with this disorder. Quinn’s goal is to bring
awareness of the effects of PTSD.
Quinn brings awareness about Sonia’s health by using
people that were around her during the Holocaust.
Quinn shows that not every person has the same
reaction to a tragedy.
Males and females experience the same event in
Men may deal with these experiences differently than
Quinn's final message in the film involves survivors
from hurricane Katrina.
Quinn depicts the female survivors who are
experiencing PTSD post hurricane Katrina.
The girl survivors were only 12 or 14 and are getting
help right away.
It does not matter when or where, PTSD can occur and
it is important to treat PTSD at an early age.
Hurricane Katrina’s PTSD
Communicating Sonia’s Message
Quinn’s use of sources and personal experiences
communicated Sonia’s message.
The paused frames and the interactions between
Sonia and Howard showed the importance of
Reliving the past in her own words, Sonia moves your
Opening the film with, “They’re going to put a bullet in
my head”. Was a powerful hook.
An effective appeal to emotions was used.
Using her cousin Leon to compare and contrast the
same things they went through brings the message
Leon remembered the Holocaust, but his memories
have not caused him to experience PTSD.
A picture of Sonia
and Leon before the
When Leon visited Sonia, she did not remember him.
PSTD has caused Sonia not to recognize a close family
The story of Leon and Sonia is a powerful one that has
helped Howard become informed about Sonia’s
Howard is trying to
help Sonia remember
Viewers Response to Sonia
It is an eye-opening experience to understand the
significance of PTSD.
The reality is PTSD can affect someone over 40 years
Understanding how the viewer can help PTSD
The sooner a loved one gets help, the better the
outcome will be.
This is a present day issue, PTSD is real.
Quinn used people that were close to Sonia to find the
answers to Howard’s questions.
Quinn gave Sonia a voice through her son Howard.
Howard and his mom,
looking through old
photos trying to see if
she can remember
In addition to personal stories from her son and
daughter; Quinn follows Leon, a cousin of Sonia, who
witnessed the Holocaust with her.
Psychiatrists were used to analyze the differences of
Sonia and Leon.
Psychiatrists brought a professional opinion that can
Sonia’s supporters are trying to help her survive her
Sonia lives in a nursing
home due to her PTSD
Is truth dependent upon place,
culture and time?
Quinn and Howard have shown that truth depends on
place, time and culture.
Sonia experienced the Holocaust in a different way
Place, Culture, Time
Sonia cannot even remember Leon, and feels she is
under attack. Leon is working to cope with what
happened and move forward in his life.
Leon and Sonia were both in the same place at the
same time, but both remember the Holocaust in a
Place, Culture, Time
What is the role of an individual in the
Howard Reich has used his role in society to inform the
viewer of the past, and how it applies to the present.
His mother’s story shows the importance of her story
and the effects of PTSD.
Howard has taken responsibility to inform the viewer
and to start to make a difference for the future.
How have human choices had a
local and global impact?
Quinn’s and Howard’s choice of creating this movie
has impacted everyone that has viewed it.
Viewers have taken the movie’s message to heart.
The message is current for people around the world, it
Victims of tsunamis, earthquakes, famine, disease and
war are all susceptible to PTSD.
What really happened to Sonia during the Holocaust?
Why didn’t she get help sooner?
Did Sonia really survive the Holocaust?
How can PTSD change a person so
much that they cannot recognize a
Will Sonia ever remember Leon?
Sonia’s story has inspired others to help other survivors
who are experiencing PTSD. Sonia was not
diagnosed with PTSD until an advanced age and it
is important to get survivors help sooner. With all of
the Veterans returning from Iraq, PTSD is a serious
On average 1in 8 returning soldiers
from Iraq suffer from post
traumatic stress disorder.
The best solution for managing PTSD is talking to a
The sooner the better!
The sooner you help the veterans, the
better chance of their survival.
To watch the trailer of Prisoner of Her Past click here