Fire of Love

Katia and Maurice Krafft loved two things — each other, and volcanoes. For two decades, the daring French volcanologist couple were seduced by the thrill and danger of this elemental love triangle. They roamed the planet, chasing eruptions and their aftermath, documenting their discoveries in stunning photographs and breathtaking film to share with an increasingly curious public in media appearances and lecture tours. Ultimately, Katia and Maurice would lose their lives during a 1991 volcanic explosion on Japan’s Mount Unzen, but they would leave a legacy that would forever enrich our knowledge of the natural world.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 120 minutes
  • Genre: Documentaries
  • Stars: Miranda July, Katia Krafft, Maurice Krafft
  • Director: Sara Dosa
  • HerrSupahz - 10 September 2023
    Beautiful scenes, Awful narration
    "Fire of Love" is a visually stunning documentary that immerses viewers in the awe-inspiring world of volcanoes. The film succeeds in delivering breathtaking footage of volcanic eruptions and their aftermath. The intensity and power of these natural phenomena are masterfully conveyed, making the experience truly memorable.

    The filmmakers' dedication to capturing the raw beauty and terrifying force of volcanoes is commendable. The use of slow-motion shots and time-lapse sequences adds depth and enhances the sensory experience, creating a captivating atmosphere. The intense colors, vibrant contrasts, and striking textures draw audiences into a mesmerizing world where nature's fury takes center stage.

    However, the film's one drawback is its narration, which regrettably detracts from its overall quality. The narrator has a monotonous voice and lackluster delivery, which drains the film of some energy and excitement. In a documentary that thrives on showcasing nature's power, a more enthusiastic and engaging narrator could have elevated the film to new heights. It's hard to believe that anyone could have previewed this film before release and thought "well, the narration is fine".

    Distractingly bad narration, but the stunning images prevail.
  • cricketbat - 8 March 2023
    A fascinating & tragic story about people who were literally consumed by their passion.
    Fire of Love offers a fascinating look at the fiery world of volcanos. I enjoyed getting to know Katia and Maurice Krafft, as I had never heard of them before. I can't say I relate to their desire to run away from the world and live among rocks & lava, but there's no denying their influence in our understanding of volcanos. Some of the footage they captured is jaw-droppingly impressive. I expected to learn more about volcanos, to be honest, but this documentary primarily focuses on the couple who studied them. It's a fascinating & tragic story about people who were literally consumed by their passion.
  • bdvdvkqcm - 13 January 2023
    Well crafted archival filmmaking
    The filmmakers have beautifully exploited their access to the trove of archival film that the Kraffts built over decades of work studying volcanoes. This is an editor's film, through and through. The storytelling is a good balance of natural science and human interest, showing the importance of science Maurice and Katia practiced while not shying away from the corrupting influence of the self mythologizing they practiced.

    The only shortcoming is that the ending is perfunctory relative to the breadth and bounty of the lives profiled. Blink and you'll miss it. Inexplicable, given the power, depth and beauty leading up to this point.
  • gortx - 11 November 2022
    Engaging look at literal Rock Stars
    Katia Krafft and Maurice Krafft were the most famous amateur Volcano scientists for over twenty years - literal (lava) Rock Stars of sorts. That they died doing what they loved seems more apropos than tragic (not a spoiler; it's revealed in the first five minutes and is in all the publicity materials). Their story is well told in Sara Dosa's documentary FIRE OF LOVE.

    Fortunately, the Kraffts left behind a treasure trove of materials from films to videos to stills to books and personal notes. Their life was also well covered in the French press and there is ample footage from TV programs. Dosa smartly assembles the information to not only detail their numerous expeditions, but also their personal lives. The Kraftts' devotion to their work truly became their only focus in life at a certain point, and they relied on sales of the films and books to become professionals - in turn, financing all their trips to exotic lands in pursuit of the latest volcanic eruption.

    Those expeditions didn't just document the volcanic activity from afar, the Kraffts always dared to get closer and closer and closer. At one point Maurice dubs himself a "kamikaze" - akin to a tornado chaser. It was his life's dream to actually sail down a lava flow on a raft! The immediacy of some of the footage makes some of the scenes look like a "sci-fi movie" as is mentioned here. Even in the shots where neither Krafft is not in the actual frame, one still feels their presence. The images feel both unreal and intimate.

    The trickiest balance that Dosa has to weigh is how to cover the lovable couple's demise. It isn't avoided. Indeed, the Kraffts themselves often refer to their own mortality considering how incredibly dangerous their exploits were. The narration (voiced well by Miranda July) is occasionally over-written (when in doubt, let the footage tell the story), but is effective nonetheless. FIRE OF LOVE is an engaging look at a pair of daredevil scientists whose mutual love of volcanoes joined them forever together.
  • maximefo - 1 August 2022
    Dancing on the volcano
    What a treat. This documentary can be appreciated simply for the poetic beauty of its images. As the images are all archives shot by Katia and Maurice, the documentary is above all a tribute to the lives and achievements of this amazing couple.

    Everybody can relate to the beginning of their trajectory: as they were disappointed by humanity, they turned to nature in order to replace bitterness with amazement.

    Something in their couple reminded me of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and not just the contrast of their silhouettes.

    A scene in particular fascinated me: they are dressed like science fictions characters and dance by the magma of an active volcano. It felt like a Daft Punk extravagant special effect, but here nature does all the show without special effects.

    I enjoyed the sound track, very eclectic, mixing Dalida with the band Air, but in touch with the topic.

    Finally, and maybe this is icing on the cake, the documentary is more than a tribute to two brave scientists, it can be seen as a existential meditation about time, humanity, contemplation and risk. One philosopher comes to mind, and is quoted by Maurice : Nietzsche.

    What is human life, if not the attempt to dance on the verge of erupting volcano?