Fire of Love is the cinematic documentation of Katia and Maurice Krafft—two of the world’s most renowned volcanologists. Through the use of their original materials, including photos, videos, and recordings, documentary maker Sara Dosa (Tricky Dicky & The Man in Black) reconstructs an account of the two scientists’ lives. The result is an exploration of what drove these two individuals to love each other, including their shared admiration and appreciation of volcanoes.
What works in Fire of Love is the incredible editing, and the insights into the Kraffts’ passions. Dosa paints a portrait of the two that is both exciting and sad. To punctuate this latter point, Dosa enlists Miranda July (Kajillionaire) to provide a melancholic narration ripe with artistic metaphors. In this way, Fire of Love often feels like a French cinema tragedy of a bygone era rather than a typical documentary. This is also thanks to the incredible work of editors Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput. As part of the creative team, they waded through countless piles and minutes of media to craft a singular narrative while highlighting the absolutely stunning work by the Kraffts in capturing explosive, dangerous, and deadly erupts in a way never before seen.
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Describing the tone and theme of Fire of Love is a bit elusive, and thus may not appeal to certain people who appreciate more traditional documentaries. Fire of Love isn’t really about volcanoes. There’s a smattering of science throughout, but the film focuses on Katia and Maurice at a very specific time in their lives. To that end, Fire of Love also is not biographical in the traditional sense—audiences won’t exit knowing a whole lot about the Kraffts’ journey into volcanology. Instead, the documentary is more like an homage to the artistic contributions the Kraffts’ made by showcasing their work. In this way, Fire of Love is more of an avant-garde exhibition than documentary.
Fire of Love is a gorgeous showcase of footage demonstrating the raw power and beauty of volcanos. It also does a fantastic job of honoring two extraordinary pioneers in the field, in a non-traditional way.
Audiences can find Fire of Love now streaming on Disney+.
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