Most people don't think about singing when they think about revolutions. But song was the weapon of choice when, between 1986 and 1991, Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of ... See full summary »
Most people don't think about singing when they think about revolutions. But song was the weapon of choice when, between 1986 and 1991, Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. During those years, hundreds of thousands gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence. "The young people, without any political party, and without any politicians, just came together ... not only tens of thousands but hundreds of thousands ... to gather and to sing and to give this nation a new spirit," remarks Mart Laar, a Singing Revolution leader featured in the film and the first post-Soviet Prime Minister of Estonia. "This was the idea of the Singing Revolution." James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty's "The Singing Revolution" tells the moving story of how the Estonian people peacefully regained their freedom--and helped topple an empire along the way. Written by
James and Maureen Tusty, directors, along with James and Mike Majoros, writers are to be congratulated on a fine piece of work. "The Singing Revolution" documents how a small country without guns or troops, and with only a strong singing tradition and the will to be free, prospered.
It may have taken over fifty years to regain their independence, but the strong will of the Estonians triumphed over brutal aggression and media propaganda.
To see the sight of some hundred thousand people raising their voices in choral singing about their homeland and their quest for independence is one to behold. The Tustys have included some remarkable archival footage to fill in the foundation for their presentation. Skillfully narrated and edited, this documentary moves along nicely, showing the progress of a people who refused to be dominated by a foreign power.
At the end of the showing (on 4/18/08 at Cleveland's Cinematheque) the filmmaker assured the audience that this will be available on DVD following its festival runs. That's something worth looking forward to!
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