- 24 September 1939 – Soviets take over Estonia
Estonia’s coveted position between Europe and Russia has lured wave after wave of occupiers. The nation’s darkest chapter, though, dawned in 1939 with the arrival of the Soviets. It seemed this time that the Estonian nation might vanish completely; yet the Estonians waited, and fought, and sang and ultimately, survived.
The Singing Revolution narrates the remarkable story of this tiny nation’s struggle for independence, illuminating how the Estonians kept their identity alive even under the oppressive weight of the Iron Curtain through a rich tradition of song. Here, people have joined voices for centuries, and their Laulupidu an immense song festival offered glimmers of Estonian culture and connectedness in even the bleakest periods, proving to The Singing People that their national spirit still smoldered. When the Soviet nation finally began to crumble in the 1980s, the Estonians saw their opportunity: free speech became song, and song became a soaring anthem of independence.
Dramatically capturing the spectacular beauty of Estonia and the overwhelming sea of people and sound that brought this nation together, The Singing Revolution celebrates a people who revolted with no weapons but their songs, no force.