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.
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.
In the first video, after the narration, the spectacular rocket war starts at 3:40. The second video is also on rocket war, but from different angle.