Monday, September 10, 2007

Singing Revolution movie review

While I was in Eesti I was lucky enough to see the movie "Singing Revolution", a new documentary about the Estonian occupation and the independence movement of the late 80's and early 90's. The movie isn't only about singing, rather it uses singing and it's place in Estonian culture to tie together a number of different historical elements to tell the story of Estonian Re-independence.

The first thing that strikes you is the amazing production quality of the movie, this is a top rate Hollywood production that has interviews with most of the important players of that time and has some amazing archival footage that is rarely seen elsewhere. The directors do an amazing job of telling the story of how the Estonian people fought for independence with song and non-violent protest as well as some clever exploitation of Gorbachev's perestroika era to assert their freedom. The movie was able to show how independence didn't come easy for Estonia as there were many different thoughts on how best to achieve freedom and that internally the local activists had trouble agreeing on the best way to proceed. The footage from the 80's and 90's is amazing, I vaguely remember the events of that time but seeing it all put together in this film really helps put together what happened during those important years.

I guess the only small critique of the movie could be the glossing over of some events during the second world war as well as barely any mention of the struggle for freedom that was done outside of Eesti for 50 years by the Estonians who fled in the 40's. These are small issues and in no way diminish the wonderful movie. I strongly recommend that if you get a chance to see the movie that you do, you won't regret it. I believe that the film is having a screening in Toronto sometime in mid-October which I will gladly attend again. The trailer to the movie can be seen below.

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Blogger Jaanus said...

Please let me know when it comes to Toronto. I was planning to come to Toronto at some point anyway this schoolyear :) and might as well come to the movie thing if things work out that way, although I'm truly busy so will have to work on scheduling it. (I've already seen it once too, funnily enough in Luxembourg.)

7:16 PM  
Blogger AndresS said...

Sunday October 21 at 5.30pm it's premiering in Toronto. I'll send you an email with more details, it'll be nice to see you in Toronto. :)

7:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Is it going to be in New York or in New Jersey?

1:40 PM  
Blogger cinda said...

Hi Andres, I have yet to find the location of the screening --- can you tell me when and where (I have a cousin in TO who would like to attend). Thank you!

11:34 AM  
Blogger FBoMI said...

Check out their website: where you can sign up to be alerted when the movie will be in your area.

10:18 AM  
Blogger drEsolve said...


'The Singing Revolution' will be playing in New York City at the Village East theater from December 14th-20th. There will also be a reception with the producers Jim and Maureen Tusty at the New York Estonian House on Thursday, December 13th. Check out the movie website and here for details about the film and its run in New York City.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Dj Connell said...

We saw it last Saturday in Portland, Oregon with friends, and all four of us absolutely loved it.

One friend who was active in the civil rights movement here in the U.S. said that the feeling you got watching the people at the Singing Ground reminded her of the time she attended the 60's March on Washington and heard Dr. Martin Lurther King speak.

Go see it.


P.S. I went to Estonia two years ago and fell in love with both the place and the culture. Everyone was friendly and warm and we had a great time. I hope to go again someday.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Singig Revolution. What a powerful clip. I look forward to seeing the movie. I finally saw the Pianist the other night. Also a very powerful film.

1:40 PM  

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