11 user 25 critic

The Singing Revolution (2006)

Unrated | | Documentary, History, Music | December 2007 (USA)
1:43 | Trailer
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 »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Heiki Ahonen Heiki Ahonen ... Himself
Gustav Ernesaks Gustav Ernesaks ... Himself (archive footage)
Linda Hunt ... Narrator
Mari-Ann Kelam Mari-Ann Kelam ... Herself
Tunne Kelam Tunne Kelam ... Himself
Mart Laar Mart Laar ... Himself
Marju Lauristin Marju Lauristin ... Herself
Ivo Linna Ivo Linna ... Himself
Tiia-Ester Loitme Tiia-Ester Loitme ... Herself
Alo Mattiisen Alo Mattiisen ... Himself (archive footage)
Lennart Meri Lennart Meri ... Himself (archive footage)
Lagle Parek Lagle Parek ... Herself
Arnold Rüütel Arnold Rüütel ... Himself
Edgar Savisaar Edgar Savisaar ... Himself
Imre Sooäär Imre Sooäär ... Himself


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 Maureen Tusty

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Official Sites:

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USA | Estonia


English | Estonian | Russian

Release Date:

December 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daloló forradalom See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,475, 9 December 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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User Reviews

Serious Singalong
23 July 2008 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

It's been a few hundred years since the US had to figuratively sing for its independence, but less than 2 decades since Estonians finally shed the Soviet yoke and found freedom. That the country just south of Finland and between Germany and Russia achieved their freedom not by force but as it were by culture is more remarkable than its million people facing off a country of hundreds of million. Thus forms the outline of a dynamic documentary about Estonian revolution.

The thousands of Estonians who met every five years in Tartu, as many as 30,000, sang patriotic songs despite cruel occupations by Germany and Soviet Russia. The symbolic resistance was accompanied by some deft diplomacy during Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost or freedom of speech and the break up of the USSR in the early 1990's.

James Trusty and Maureen Castle Trusty's documentary assembles archival footage of the struggle in the 20th century, uses the usual talking heads, some of whom were freedom fighters, and has the good sense to have an understated Linda Hunt narration. When these innocent throngs sing their nationalist songs, cinemaphiles can't but think of the French singing La Marseillaise at Rick's Cafe in Casablanca.

It all works to the extent that you will never forget the little country that could.

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