WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
The documentary is a socio-anthropological project exploring a traditional festival of the inhabitants of Haro, a village in the Spanish region of La Rioja. This is a centuries old celebration that takes place every year on the 29th of June. On this day, in the rocky cliffs of Bilibio, the people of Haro and the surrounding region, young and old, foreign tourists and traditional brass bands, all get together with vast quantities of wine ready to be thrown at one another as a weapon.
The region of La Rioja is known internationally for its production of wine. For generations wine been the main economic product of Haro, the wine capital of La Rioja. Wine creates social dynamics that are deeply rooted in the community. Religious conservatism that reigned in Spain created what is now known as ‘las fiestas’ (traditional festivals or celebrations) in all the towns and cities in the north of the peninsula. Initially the motivation for the fiestas was religious: they were celebrations of devotion to patron saints and virgins from each community. Ultimately, they became quasi-secular annual celebrations. Haro and its Battle of Wine festival are, in my opinion, a key instance of the paganisation of religious custom: as a region that is almost entirely dedicated to the production of wine and the Spanish temperament of ‘jolgorio y jarana’ (revelry and carousing), causes this premature explosion of summer joy. This orgiastic battle, in which bodies soaked inside and out with wine jump and dance to the sound of brass bands, gives free rein to one's primal instincts.
STYLE OF THE DOCUMENTARY
Besides feeling connected to this region through my family, I was driven to start this project because of a passion for documentary and experimental film, a curiosity about cinematography and the desire to experiment with a narrative processes in an anthropological manner.
The general concept is to fashion a documentary using the canons of visual anthropology through developing mainly an observational style. However, during the actual battle, visual creativity will be unleashed to subjectively immerse the viewer in that oneiric moment.
The shooting was done during the festival celebrations of 2011 and 2012. During the first year, I accompanied the town authorities, who acts as a vehicle for the programme. I also followed the participants in the battle, around the village and through the bullring. During the second year, I followed a group of young and old friends who, the day before, decorated a trailer for the festival. By following them through the festival, I have been able to show one of the many suggestive social customs as well as regular transfer of rites and customs from one generation to another.
The soundtrack will be mostly diegetic, played by the brass bands present at the celebration. We also have the contribution of sound files recorded by Luis Brox, as well as extracts from his audiovisual ethnographic pieces. Brox worked for years in the audiovisual archives of the Regional Government of La Rioja.
WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?
The funds raised will be used to cover:
- Costs of filming in 2011 and 2012.
- The production and shipping of rewards.
- The promotion and distribution of the documentary.
- Verkami’s commission and bank transfer charges.
I invite you to view the trailer of the documentary. Please send any queries you may have.
After the crowdfunding campaign you will be able to follow the progress of the documentary here: The Battle of Wine.
The official premiere of the documentary will be held during the fiestas of Haro, in June.
Thank you very much for your collaboration in this important initiative!
Special thanks to our first sponsor: Asador Terete that believes in the project since the early stages.