THE SINGING REVOLUTION
Release Date: December 31, 2007
Starring: Heili Ahonen, Gustav Ernesaks,
Linda Hunt, Mari-Ann Kelam,
Tunne Kelam, Mart Laar, Marju
Lauristin, and Ivo Linna
Audience: Older Teens & Adults
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Distributor: Mountain View Productions
Director: James Tusty
Producer: Bestor Cram, Thor Halvorssen,
Artur Talvik, Piret
Tibbo-Hudgins, James Tusty,
and Maureen Castle Tusty
Address Comments To:Richard Abramowitz
22 Green Valley Rd.
Armonk, NY 10504
(914) 273- 9545
Estonia is one of the three Baltic States. It has been conquered many times because it is a gateway between Russia and Western Europe. Its population hovers around 1 million. For years, the Estonians have been united by their love of singing. Thousands of Estonians come from all over the country for the 100 year-old tradition of group singing.
In the 1930’s, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of the vile Joseph Stalin, conquered Estonia and killed thousands of people in cold blood and shipped almost half of the population off to Siberia to die. One third of those sent made it back after WWII for a brief time before the Germans conquered and proceeded to kill and torture their share of Estonians.
The Communists came back after WWII and allowed the tradition of singing in an attempt to indoctrinate the people by having them sing Communist songs. One conductor, though, composed an Estonian song from a 100-year-old Estonian poem entitled “Land Of My Fathers.” During the Soviet occupation, singing this song kept the Estonian people alive. In 1969, the Communists tried to stop the singing of this song, but the people kept singing anyway.
In the late 1980s, as the Soviet Union was collapsing because Communism had destroyed the very fabric of Soviet society, the Estonians solidified their identity through singing and reclaiming their citizenship. In the other two Baltic countries, the Soviets killed protestors, but no on was killed in Estonia. The love of their culture gave the people the strength to prevail and ultimately overcome one of the mightiest, most populated countries ever.
In this documentary, several key Estonians who stood up to the Soviet threat are interviewed. Several of them were in concentration camps. Many were beaten and abused. Many are conductors. Many of their songs contain prayers to the Creator God and ask for His help. There are many moments that will bring the audience to tears.
Although the documentary does not state it clearly, God did help since this tiny county miraculously freed itself from the grip of the Soviet empire. Plato is credited with saying, “Let me write the ballads of a country, and I care not who writes the laws.” The story of THE SINGING REVOLUTION is not only proof of Plato’s insight, but it also demonstrates the power of culture for good.
With testimonies from several key Estonians who stood up to the Soviet threat, this movie contains a strong moral worldview with some Christian content, including many songs that contain ask for the help of Creator God. It has documentary violence from WWII footage with no other objectionable content. “Let me write the ballads of a country, and I care not who writes the laws.” The heartrending story of THE SINGING REVOLUTION is not only proof of Plato’s insight, but it also demonstrates the power of culture for good. THE SINGING REVOLUTION is must viewing for everyone, especially children.