For Estonians, the Laulupidu (song festival) held every five years is more than a cultural mecca for thousands: It's a chance to honor how a populace in unison often held this oppressed nation together over decades of Soviet rule and eventually spurred it to win its freedom. As chronicled in the gripping if flawed documentary The Singing Revolution, Estonia's turbulent 20th century is on one level a story of how feelings became songs, songs became a national voice and voice became action.
With a background in educational films and commercials, first-time feature directors James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty strictly adhere to a snappily edited formula of timelines, archival footage and Linda Hunt's instructional voice-over.
The Singing Revolution (Abramorama) A documentary by James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty. Unrated. Time 95 minutes.