Monday, March 09, 2009

The Singing Revolution Film Discussion at Thomas Ford

After the Thomas Ford showing of The Singing Revolution, a documentary film about the role of national song in the liberation of Estonia, people clapped. That does not normally happen at our film discussions.

Twenty-three people attended, and most stayed for the discussion, including two sisters who escaped Lithuania during World War II. One of them was only three months old at the time. Their observations contributed invaluably to our lively discussion, which centered more on history and human experience than on the art of the film.

There was certainly a lot to discuss after see the film:

  • Roosevelt and Churchill's acquiescence to Stalin's plans for the Baltic States
  • the Soviet policy of Russification
  • the silence of neighbors and friends when anyone could work for the KGB
  • the splitting of families by war and repressive governments
  • risking one's life for free speech
  • the intentions of Mikhail Gorbachev
  • the nurturing of hope in oppressed people

Usually, we have one big discussion after a film, but everyone had too much to say, so it quickly broke into smaller groups, some staying over half an hour.

The big question posed to me after the film was "Can the library schedule more films that have not been in theaters?" The woman who asked said that she'd like to see more films like The Singing Revolution.

Libraries can get their own copies of The Singing Revolution from its website, which also has further background material.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I wonder if the discussion group would like some of the Film Movement movies:
http://www.filmmovement.com/
It looks like we already have a few of them here.