Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Singing Revolution

Laulev revolutsioon / Laulava vallankumous / Den sjungande revolutionen. US/EE (c) 2006 Mountain View Productions. D: James Tusty, Maureen Castle Tusty, Mike Majoros. Narrator: Linda Hunt. 97 min. A 35mm print with title sequences and subtitles in English from Mountain View Productions. Viewed at Cinema Orion, 31 March 2009. - A good print, with many of the news footage from video origins, and at least some new footage looked like it is shot or edited digitally. - An excellent documentary film of Estonia's way back to independence 20 years ago. - Magnificent aerial footage on the Laulupidu song festivals. - The memory of the free republic. The forest brothers. The gulag survivor. The last forest brother captured in 1978. Russification. I (interview): Lennart Meri. - One of the largest collections of folk songs in the world. - The song fest of 1947: Stalin era, Soviet hymn, and "Mu isanmaa" (Gustav Ernesaks, Lydia Koidula). The unofficial national anthem. The sign of protest. - 1969: the centenary song festival, revival of "Mu isanmaa". They had to let Ernesaks conduct. - 1985: Gorbachov. 1987: non-violence, environment, phosphor mines. - Official debate on the occupation. The revelation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. - The Tartu revolt. I: Mart Laar. The Heritage Society. The guy on the motorcycle with a flag - soon flags everywhere. - Revolution with a smile and a song. - Glasnost = free speech. - Popular front. Edgar Savisaar. Carrying out perestroika. - USSR replaced hardliners with Vaino Valjas. Russians got nervous. 40% Russians in Estonia. Interfront. - All had different strategies. - Laulupidu: 300.000 - one third of the Estonians. - I: Edgar Savisaar. I: Marju Lauristin. I: Heinz Valk. I: Vaino Valjas. - Developing Estonian Laws. I: Arnold Rüütel. The Estonian language. The Estonian flag. - 1989: avoiding direct confrontation. An example of responsibility. - Footage of Gorbachov meeting the Estonians. - The 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. - The giant human chain through the three Baltic countries. - The Soviet Party warns the Baltic countries. - Illegal occupation. Political violence. Estonian citizenship exists. Registration campaign. Denying legitimacy of occupation. It was easy to start. 860.000 registered. An overwhelming referendum. - 1990: the Congress of Estonia. Not declaring any official authority. Russians lose privileges. Interfront increasingly hostile. - Hammer and sickle illegal. - Interfront at Toompea. I: Jevgeni Kogan (Interfront). - The crowd stormed. The defense of Toompea Castle. Liberty! The crowd stayed calm. - 1991: Vilnius: Soviet soldiers killed 14, hundreds wounded. I: Lennart Meri. Free media. Riga: 6 more killed. - Soviet system collapsed. Hardliners agains Gorbachov. Gorbachov always late. Restructuring. Tanks. - The Hirve Park demonstration. - Heinz Volk gave the Singing Revolution its name. - A calmly engrossing documentary film. - Essential viewing for any Finn.

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