Monday, August 22, 2011

Eesti vabaks - rockfestivaali joka ei päättynyt / [Free Estonia - the Rock Festival That Never Ended]

FI 2011. PC: Nouhau Productions Oy. P: Anne Veijalainen. D: Sanna-Sisko Tohka, Markku Veijalainen. SC: Sanna-Sisko Tohka. Loc: Tallinna laululava. Feat: Martti Syrjä, Eppu Normaali, Juice Leskinen, Johnny Rotten, Big Country, Sakari Kuosmanen, Pave Maijanen. Juri Makarov, Ivo Linna, Markku Veijalainen. 59 min. A video projection preview at Bio Rex, Helsinki (YLE Teema Tenth Anniversary), 22 Aug 2011.

Presented by: Ulla Martikainen-Florath, Markku Veijalainen, Sakari Kuosmanen, Juri Makarov, and Ivo Linna.

[On tv on the 3 September 2011 this will be followed by the concert documentary: Glasnost Rock - Rock Summer 88. 82 min. A concert documentary of the big three-day-rock festival at Tallinna laululava in the summer 1988. Featuring Eppu Normaali, Juice Leskinen, Leningrad Cowboys, John Lydon alias Johnny Rotten, and Big Country.]

From the official presentation: "YLE Teema celebrates the 20th anniversary of the declaration of independence of Estonia. Eesti vabaks - the Rock Festival That Never Ended is a documentary of stars of Finn rock who got a gig in the Soviet Union in the summer of 1988 and were driven almost by accident to fight for free Estonia with an electric guitar in their hand."

"Markku Veijalainen, a Finnish boss of a city radio and a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment business, started to realize a wild dream in 1988: the first big international rock festival in the Soviet Union, to take place at the legendary Tallinn Song Arena in Soviet Estonia."

"The idea was to organize an unforgettable summer festival and a rock experience for the Estonians living under Soviet rule. Unexpectedly, the August weekend developed into something completely different. 150.000 people got to witness how an innocent festival became a part of Estonia's singing revolution, in which Finnish and Estonian stars defied the KGB agents, militia and Red Army soldiers and demanded freedom for Estonia."

"The Radio Ykkönen (Radio One) channel taped on video and audio the whole three day event which was in Finland called Glasnost Rock and in Estonia Rock Summer. The tapes were forgotten in Veijalainen's vault for over two decades."

"The documentary film Eesti vabaks! The Rock Festival That Never Ended and the one-and-a-half-hour concert documentary Glasnost Rock - Rock Summer 88 have now been produced from this unique, mostly previously unseen material."

"In the documentary the Finnish and Estonian activists tell how the impossible became possible. Pave Maijanen, Martti Syrjä, Sakari Kuosmanen, and other veterans of Finnish rock illuminate how it was to make a first gig in the Soviet Union."

YLE Teema is not only the best television channel in Finland but a top forum of our country's cultural life in general. For their tenth anniversary celebration they had selected a new documentary film that represents two of their main concerns: social history and music.

The Singing Revolution is a well-known watchword, but I had not realized that even Finnish rock musicians had an important part to play in it. The Estonian friends witnessed that Finnish rock musicians ignited sparks that had tremendous consequences. Sakari Kuosmanen had been forbidden by his Estonian friends to say it, but he said it loud anyway at the Tallinn Song Arena in 1988: "Eesti vabaks"! And he said today that never in his life had he received such a warm applause as on that day from the audience of 150.000.

I was able to see the introductions and the beginning of the documentary movie which obviously will have lasting historical value.

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