Prisoner of Her past is starred by Howard
Reich, a journalist from the Chicago Tribune.
Prisoner of Her past is a self stared
documentary of Sonia Reich, Gordan's
mother. Sonia is a holocaust survivor and
haunted by what she went though to survive.
Sonia Reich is originally from Poland. Sonia
was forced into the newly forming ghettos
created by the Nazis at an extremely early
While in the ghetto Sonia escaped with
her cousin Leon and was continuously
running from the Nazi's. Sonia ran for 2
Sonia now suffers from what doctors
recently diagnosed as PTSD (Post Dramatic
Stress Disorder). Sonia is now living in
nursing facility after running out of her house
in 2001 believing she was being chased by
Leon, Sonia's cousin also escaped the
ghetto, ran and hid from the Nazis. Then
Leon was taken in by a farmer.
Howard Reich visited Leon and his son in
Poland to find out more about his mothers
past. Leon is extremely open about his past
while Sonia is not. Leon is trying to teach his
son about what happened to him during the
Howard Reich shows the different effects
that males and females went though. Leon
was open and willing to talk about his past.
Sonia believes that its not the past and
keeps reliving the horrors she endured.
Howard Reich central message is that males
and females cope and handle traumatic
experiences differently. The example of
Sonia and Leon are key. Leon is teaching
and telling his and accepted it while Sonia is
secretive, wont tell anyone and still believes
her past is not her past and is still reality.
The second half of the message
communicated was the PTSD does effect
more people then believed. PTSD effects
many people differently. It was not confirmed
by doctors that Sonia had it for many years.
In the film, the message that was being
communicated was done though examples.
First came Sonia, then Leon and finally a
group of girls effected by hurricane Katerina.
Sources used in the film were 3 real life
experiences. Sonia, Leon and the group of
girls displaced by Katerina. Another source
was the psychiatrist.
Sonia gave insight to a
female that had PTSD
and kept reliving her
past. Sonia could not get
away from what had
happened and developed
what seemed to be habits
from when she was in the
back woods in Poland.
Leon gave insight
in how a male was
effected by a
accepted his past
as his past and
have moved on.
The schools girls gave insight into how they
were effected by a different traumatic
experience. Some kept bags packed ready
to move if another hurricane stuck, even if
they were in the Midwest or somewhere that
did not have hurricanes.
School girls talking about their traumatic
experience and how it effected them
The essential question, “how had human choices
had a local and global impact?” relates to the film
Prisoner of Her Past as it is based of human
choices. The choice of Hitler to create the Nazi
Sonia made a choice, she decided to run,
then to stay in the ghetto. That choice
effected the local community because she
was never going to see them again and her
may of inspired hope or gave a bright spot in
an other wise horrible life.
A question I had after viewing the film was
whether or not Sonia accepted Leon and
whether he was someone she needed to
forget to overcome her PTSD