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The Singing Revolution (2007)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 50,587

My Rating

Movie Info

After enduring WWII-era brutalization by Hitler's Nazi Party and decades of repressive Soviet dictatorship, the tiny Eastern European nation of Estonia began to declare its independence from Communist rule in the late '80s. Over a five-year period, beginning in 1986, hundreds of thousands of Estonians began to systematically and repeatedly gather in public venues to collectively sing illegal patriotic songs, declaring their desire for national independence but never resorting to violence amid

Feb 3, 2009

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (6) | DVD (1)

'Nonstop Estonian folk music' might not be a great format for a radio station, but it sure works for The Singing Revolution.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This fine and surprising documentary asks an even more challenging question: Can music promote nonviolence, prevent bloodshed and successfully overthrow an oppressive regime? Again -- astonishingly -- the answer is 'yes.'

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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The thrill of this documentary is in the remarkable story of the Little Country That Could.

May 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
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As far as the plot goes, widespread lack of familiarity with Estonia's recent history actually works in the film's favor: Suspense born of ignorance lends the unfolding drama the urgency of a political thriller.

May 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Patience may not the most exciting movie subject, but The Singing Revolution is, in its deceptively mild way, inspiring.

April 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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It's a powerful story of a nation that, almost literally, sang its way to freedom.

April 17, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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One of the most inspirational and powerful documentaries I've ever seen.

March 28, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

a film that joyfully celebrates the power of the human spirit in all its glory.

January 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Fortunately, the interview subjects (who include festival performers and current and former Estonian leaders) are very intelligent and well-spoken. Their stories are what really holds out interest here.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

If The Singing Revolution were a fictional film it would be dismissed as a pie-in-the-sky fantasy. But it's all true.

August 1, 2008
Kansas City Star

Folk songs can be plenty inspirational, but like this movie, they just aren't all that exciting.

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly
Las Vegas Weekly

Although filmmakers James and Maureen Castle Tusty haven't figured out how to make historic tidbits come alive, they do know how to make them sing.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Effectively chronicles in a thumbnail sketch the blustery recent political 20th-century history of Estonia.

July 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Full of the kind of collective passion and struggle and yearning for freedom that makes viewers well up with pride at their shared humanity.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Booster-ish, with only former participants in the struggle and activists interviewed. There's a you-must-feel-good thrust (and an incessant score). Warbles a familiar tune to Estonians, presumably, and doesn't offer enough rich notes for an outsider.

July 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The Singing Revolution is the sort of film that should be shown to North American school children or anyone else who takes his freedom for granted.

April 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

An intriguing, highly recommended film.

April 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

The Singing Revolution becomes a tense political thriller that culminates in one of the most significant events of past century: The collapse of the Soviet Union.

April 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Though slightly overstated, the part played by singing was no doubt significant. Its implied role in keeping the Estonian revolution nonviolent is especially stirring.

April 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

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Foreign Titles

  • La Révolution En Chantant (FR)
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