Synopsis by Mark Deming
Tellervo & Oliver Kalleinen are a couple from Finland who noticed that most people have a tendency to complain, and decided to do something about it. The Kalleinens could do only so much to solve the problems of others, but they could give them a new way to express their annoyance, and they created the "Complaints Choir," a choral ensemble in which the vocalists sing about their gripes, from the petty and personal to matters of global importance. The Complaints Choir was a success in Finland, and the Kalleinens began taking the notion worldwide, traveling to different countries and helping to set up local choirs with their own repertoire of grievances. This plan hit a snag when Tellervo and Oliver arrived in Singapore -- while plenty of folks wanted to join the choir, the singers and organizers were visited by officials who informed them it's illegal to complain in public in Singapore. But who is willing to fight for the right to grouse in Singapore, with or without music? Filmmaker Ada Bligaard-Soby explores the Kelleinens brainchild and how it ran head first into a repressive government in the documentary Complaints Choir, which received its North American premiere at the 2010 Cinequest Film Festival.
censorship, choir, complaint, songs