Dollars for a Saint

by Avra Georgiou , Greece, France

Messolonghi. A small coastal town in western Greece, stigmatized by its historical past. During the Turkish occupation it underwent a five-year siege (1821-1826), which was solved by a heroic Exodus. According to reports, gypsy drummers heartened the people in their war against the Turks. Still today the town is inhabited by these two diverse social groups, locals and gypsies, which have developed a social relation of harmonic co-existence, sealed by a unique communal celebration, the Saint Symeon feast. Once a year, they engage in an exhausting five-day festival, beginning Saturday evening and lasting uninterruptedly until Wednesday morning. During the feast, gypsies only are playing original traditional music, creating a transcendental ecstatic atmosphere of union through all social ranges. The documentary follows and observes St.

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