National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
The Song We Sing is About Freedom
Across the communist/capitalist divide of the Cold War, a choir from Hungary visits a choir in Blaenau Ffestiniog and both discover, despite differences, a shared humanity.
From the collection of:
In 1975, Côr y Brythoniaid, a male voice choir from Blaenau Ffestiniog, undertook exchange visits with The Zoltan Kodaly Male Voice Choir from the United Incandescent Lamp and Electrical Co. Ltd. Factory in Tungsram, near Budapest, Hungary, in a bid to make connections and share goodwill despite the political – cold war - situation. Filmed by a Hungarian state film company, an English version was provided for Côr y Brythoniaid.
“Lightly swinging, Skywards winging, Victory bringing, The song, steady, steely, It soars up freely! And ringing tells you, Life is full of joy! …. The song we sing is about freedom, Listen to it nations, peoples, friends … We want peace and freedom!”. The Hungarian song of the title accompanies much of the film which culminates in its performance by the combined choirs. At the time, Hungarian ‘freedom’ was controlled by the Soviet Union, after a failed revolution in 1956. Under the glare of state film unit cameras, the choir are shown visiting not Buckingham Palace in London but the grave of Karl Marx, indicating to any audience their respect for the man who influenced the communist system they live under.