Flyway Film Fest Dispatch #5: Documentarian Howard Reich



One of the most intriguing films to come to Pepin this year is the documentary Prisoner of Her Past. Chicago Tribune Jazz critic Howard Reich sits down with us to talk about how and why his mother of 69 years one day decided to flee her Chicago home in the middle of the night insisting to police later that people were trying to kill her. After an evaluation we learn that Sonia actually has a rare form of delusion: Late Onset Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

During World War II, it turns out that as a ten year-old child, Sonia was forced to go on the run and into hiding through the German occupation of her country and witnessed unspeakable atrocities. These tragic events are now rearing their ugly head all these years later within Sonia’s psyche. After writing an article about the ordeal for the Chicago Tribune, he’s decided to investigate further and document the entire personal journey on film that takes him across the globe and chance encounters with other war survivors and people who actually knew his mother as a child. It’s an absolutely fascinating journey of discovery that’s both heart warming and heart wrenching at the same time.

Howard was gracious enough to sit down with us and discuss how he went about making the film and his discoveries and feelings as he progressed through this trek over the past few months/years.




Prisoner of Her Past Official film site
Purchase the DVD
Sonia’s story in Book form written by Howard himself
Howard’s Blog documenting screenings and events since the making of the film


Andrew James
Podcaster. Tech junkie. Movie lover. Also games and guitar. I dig music.