V.S. (Vreugdevuur Scheveningen)
29 minutes, shot and edited by Romke Hoogwaerts
premiered at Eindhoven Film Festival 2019 and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2020
This bonfire tradition started shortly after World War II ended, when the youth of The Hague echoed the traumas from the days of Nazi conscription by conscripting discarded Christmas trees and lighting them on fire upon every new year. This grew into street skirmishes between neighborhoods, mass confrontations with the police and ever-escalating fires. In the 90’s the bonfires had become so large and organized that wooden pallets became the dominant material, and the beach of Scheveningen became the sanctioned area of operation. There, a rivalry between two neighborhoods grew. Romke documented Scheveningen’s bonfire community for its final three bonfires, between 2016 to 2019.