Around the Island

Movies at the Library: A song of freedom

COURTESY PHOTO |A scene from ‘The Singing Revolution,’ showing March 24 at the library.
COURTESY PHOTO |A scene from ‘The Singing Revolution,’ showing March 24 at the library.

Next Tuesday evening, March 24, “Movies at the Library” will show the gripping story of a nation that incredibly sang itself to freedom. Estonia is a small Baltic nation with a long, proud history and culture.

But it had bad luck with its neighbors. Through the centuries, Scandinavians, Germans and Russians all have claimed Estonia as their own at various times. After a brief taste of freedom before World War II, this plucky nation found itself under foreign rule again, first Germany and then the Soviet Union.

This lasted nearly half a century, before a unique movement helped throw off the Soviet yoke. This movement was the Estonian Singing Revolution.

The film, “The Singing Revolution,” documents some of the history and oppression but focuses primarily on the revolution itself — on the acts of defiance against their Russian occupiers — through peaceful protests and music. Between 1986 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence.

It is a story of triumph, of the step-by-step re-establishment of Estonian independence without bloodshed but through mass demonstrations of unity and singing.

Mostly, though, “The Singing Revolution” documents the indomitable human nature. The producer/directors use strong camera work, cuts of historical footage, human expression, interviews, music (most emphatically) and even humor to create a powerful masterpiece.

Don’t miss this moving story of how the Estonian people peacefully regained their freedom — and helped topple an empire along the way. Join us in the theater downstairs at the library on March 24 at 7 p.m.

Snacks will be provided as usual. Donations are always appreciated.

See you at the movies.