If you are from Vrontados (as I am), watching this video gives you goose bumps. There has never been such a poetic documentation of the Holy Easter rocket war, presenting so accurately the passion of the people behind it.
To the locals, it is a sacred custom that has been going strong for two hundred years, even during the Ottoman occupation.
Every Holy Saturday a rocket war takes place between two churches, Saint Marc (Agios Markos) and Panagia Erythiani in Vrontados on the island of Chios, Greece. To the locals, it is a sacred custom that has been going strong for two hundred years, even during the Ottoman occupation.
The people from both neighborhoods prepare their custom-made ammunition, (handmade rockets) with great effort throughout the previous year, in order to be strong for the “fight”. When Holy Saturday arrives, the war begins as soon as the sun goes down. The sight is beyond spectacular.
Because this custom attracts much attention from international media each year, many videos have documented the event. However, only the documentary we feature here has managed to accurately capture the tradition in such detail, along with the genuine atmosphere of the island, and the passion of the locals to maintain this tradition.
The video is called “Vrontados, aka Rocket War”.
Director: Salomon Lighthelm
Variable Production Company, New York
Below is an excerpt of the film’s description, written by its creators:
Seeing people with so much passion for the craft and tradition of rocket-making was invigorating to witness while filming.
“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”.