The Singing Revolution (2006, Maureen & James Tusty)

Estonia was invaded by Russia, then nazis, then Russia again. It sucked for them, but they had music in their hearts and joined for an annual concert to celebrate their heritage. Eventually they became free again, hoorah!

Katy has been listening to me whine about film technique for so long that it’s gotten to her. Even though this is a heartwarming documentary about strong, likeable people fighting and winning back their rights and their country through nonviolence and music, we had to grudgingly agree that it was a kinda crappy documentary, made with passion but made by amateurs.

One awesome scene, especially after having just watched Grin Without a Cat, a movie full of global violent protest, featured the Estonian congress building surrounded by anti-independence Russian groups, residents who had grown up in Estonia after being forcibly relocated there a generation earlier by the USSR to more fully integrate their empire. The government sent out a call for help on the radio, and the Russians found themselves surrounded by absolute hordes of Estonians, at which point they gave uo their quest for revolution and just wanted to escape. The Estonian crowd parted, the Russians left. No screaming or hitting, no rocks or bombs thrown, just piles and piles of people coming out to demonstrate for their independence.

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