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The Singing Revolution


Between 1987 and 1991, music was the weapon of choice for Estonians who sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. During those years, hundreds of thousands gathered in fields to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence. James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty's The Singing Revolution documents how the Estonian people sang their way to freedom while helping topple an empire. Four years in the making, the film reflects the indomitable human drive for personal freedom, political independence, and self-determination. The most successful documentary film in Estonian box-office history, this unforgettable film came to the United States with support from MPI. It is estimated that 10 million people have seen the film worldwide. A gorgeously illustrated companion book has also been published, proceeds of which go to charity. Find out more at the film's official website. A teaching episode version of this film is available on izzit.org.Official Film Website

Watch This Film

“[The Singing Revolution] will unquestionably have the effect of strengthening the belief in freedom on the part of anybody who watches it.”—Milton Friedman


Documentary feature
Mike Majoros
James & Maureen Tusty
Steve & Karla Jurvetson
Maureen Castle Tusty
James Tusty
Bestor Cram
Piret Tibbo-Hudgins
Artur Talvik
Thor Halvorssen
David Thayer
94 minutes

Get Involved

Many films are available for private screenings. For more information, email info@thempi.org.


  • 1.25.14The Singing Revolution screens at 3 p.m. ET Billings Farm & Museum Theater as part of the Woodstock Vermont Film Series in Woodstock, VT. The filmmakers will be present for a post-screening Q&A session. Click here for more information.
  • 9.16.13The Singing Revolution screens at 7:45 p.m. at the Lark Theater in Larkspur, CA. The event features a performance by les etoiles, the teen girl ensemble of Singers Marin. There is also a filmmaker SKYPE interview after the screening with Jim and Maureen. Click here for more information.
  • 3.24.13The Singing Revolution screens at 3:30 p.m. at the Strand Theater in Rockland, ME as a fundraiser event for the Midcoast Community Chorus. Filmmaker James Tusty will be present for Q&A. Click here for more information.
  • 3.10.13The Singing Revolution screens at the Centro Arte Alameda theater in Santiago, Chile. The film played to about 150 people who found extreme relevance in their own history with Allende and Pinochet in the 1970s and 80s.
View full event archive for The Singing Revolution