glyph 420: song, music . movie, film ... Estonia, Baltics ... USSR, Soviet Union, Nazi Germany . totalitarianism vs. freedom, empire vs. nationalism ... power of music to lift and unite a people, liberation from tyranny, assisted by mass singing


The Singing Revolution, Estonia, 1939-1991

a people's music challenges tyranny - video of trailer - main website
Directed by Jim Tusty and Maureen Castle

Producer and Director Jim Tusty discusses his recent
film, "The Singing Revolution," at Reason TV:

Michael Strong writes:

... a great, inspiring film about the role of singing in the Estonian freedom movement during the Soviet occupation and how the history of a movement bound by singing kept the liberation of Estonia from being violent as it was in many other east-bloc nations as they were liberated.

It is certainly a candidate for the best movie I've ever seen.

As we develop a rich, diverse literature of the nightmare that was communism, and it enters the collective popular awareness that it really was as horrifying as Nazism, but worse because of the far greater scale in time and human death and oppression, and more perverse because supported by most western intellectuals throughout the 20th century, we will see a new shift in the popular understanding of what figures and intellectual traditions in the 20th century are worthy of respect, and which ones can no longer be taken seriously. As this shift takes place, it will have a real impact on the field of thought going forward.

Michael Strong, CEO and Chief Visionary Officer, FLOW, Inc.

The New York Times writes of this film:

Imagine the scene in Casablanca in which the French patrons sing 'La Marseillaise' in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you've only begun to imagine the force ofThe Singing Revolution." This is one of history's most thrilling stories about how dozens of Estonian students in 1987 began gathering publicly and singing "forbidden" patriotic songs, about how those dozens became hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands. Finally in 1991, without a political party or a political leader, The Singing Revolution ended the crushing 40-year-long Soviet occupation of Estonia without the loss of a single life. Tears seem to flow wherever this film is screened—the passion of the music, the magnificence of the chorales and the emotional roller coaster of this grand, operatic and potentially fatal game of 'Chicken' have sparked a visceral reaction in film-festival audiences throughout the world.

Go to the Singing Revolution website and sign up to be notified when the film will be shown in your area. A young person who sees this film will no longer be puzzled when people speak of the need to fight to preserve liberty. This is a great film. —leif — sign up here — U.S.-Baltic Foundation
February 19, 2008; edited/updated November 26, 2015

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