The Singing Revolution (2007)


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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 their protests. It was no coincidence that Estonia subsequently became one of the first nations to break away from the Soviet Union in the events leading up to the fall of the Iron Curtain. The documentary The Singing Revolution chronicles this extraordinary yet seldom-told chain of events. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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Linda Hunt
as Narrator

Critic Reviews for The Singing Revolution

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (17)

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.'

Jun 20, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The thrill of this documentary is in the remarkable story of the Little Country That Could.

May 30, 2008 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Patience may not the most exciting movie subject, but The Singing Revolution is, in its deceptively mild way, inspiring.

Apr 25, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4

It's a powerful story of a nation that, almost literally, sang its way to freedom.

Apr 17, 2008 | Full Review…

What makes the film unique is its intermittent focus on one of the country's cultural touchstones: a song festival called Laulupidu, and its role in bringing freedom to a repressed but restless people after a half-century.

Apr 4, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4

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