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.

  • Salomon Ligthelm
  • Salomon Ligthelm
  • Khalid Mohtaseb
    Director of Photography
  • Jonathan Bregel
    Phantom Camera Cinematographer
  • Tyler Ginter
    Executive Producer
  • Alex Friedman
  • Snaproll Media
    RC Helicopter
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 39 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Modern Greek (1453-)
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Salomon Ligthelm

Salomon Ligthelm is a multi-disciplinary Director, with a background in music and sound design. He hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, but lived in Dubai and Sydney prior to moving to his now home - New York City with his wife and son.

His textural & experimental work finds new ways of exploring human nature, and seeks to blur the lines between narrative and documentary. His background in sound design and music provides a strong backbone for commercial work, and his understanding of people and culture fuels his love for longer form narrative and documentary film-making.

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