A war to keep the peace. In the small village of Vrontados on the Greek island of Chios, there is unrest. For over a century, parishioners of two Greek Orthodox churches have engaged in a battle on Holy Saturday, firing more than 100,000 homemade rockets at each other’s churches once the sun goes down.
This film is a reflection of a sense of devotion that feels lost in the modern world. Seeing people with so much passion for the craft and tradition of rocket-making was invigorating to witness while filming. The idea of giving your heart and soul over to something that you love is at the core of the story. We’re all after something we can give our lives to, something that can help create deeper connections with each other. It’s strange to think that this tradition can do it – but that’s a reality for many in Vrontados. They live and breathe rockets, and that’s what brings them together, especially during their Easter holiday.
Its origin is unclear. One theory holds that churches on the island faked a civil war during the Turkish occupation so they could celebrate Easter without being plagued by war. Accordingly the ruse worked, as the Turks kept a safe distance, allowing the villagers to attend Easter Mass.
Production Company: Variable
Creative Collective: Variable
Director: Salomon Ligthelm
2nd Unit Director: Jonathan Bregel
Director of Photography: Khalid Mohtaseb
Phantom Camera Cinematographer: Jonathan Bregel
Executive Producer: Tyler Ginter
Producer: Alex Friedman
Production Supervisor: Paige DeMarco
Phantom Tech / 1st Assistant Camera / DIT: Jeff Levine
Art Director / Gaffer / Grip: Brad Burke
Fixer: Eleni Fanariotou
RC Helicopter: Snaproll Media / snaprollmedia.com
Post Production: Variable
Story Consultant: Spyros Dahlias
Colorist: Sal Malifatano @ Nice Shoes
Sound Mix / Sound Design: Defacto Sound