FIRE OF LOVE is a 2022 best documentary feature Oscar nominee that’s produced by National Geographic, but it’s not the sort of thing I associate with them. It’s one of a couple different movies telling the odd story of maybe history’s first married volcanologist couple, Katia and Maurice Krafft of France. They married in their twenties and spent the rest of their lives traveling around documenting volcano events. And I really mean right until the very end… we’re tipped off at the beginning that they died in the eruption of Mount Unzen in 1991.
Though officially directed by Sara Dosa (TRICKY DICK & THE MAN IN BLACK), the credits are clear that it’s compiled from footage “from the deep archives” of the Kraffts. Clips of TV appearances, illustrative stock footage and a few bits of animation fill in some storytelling gaps, but it’s mostly footage shot by the Kraffts “and friends” – there’s no contemporary talking heads explaining what we should know about them or any of that type of bullshit. The volcanoes they’ll be seen visiting are credited as co-stars. The movie transports us to a different time and primarily lingers in what seems like a different world, far from any sign of human life, where we can see the earth’s raw power up close, as these self-proclaimed weirdos stare right into its gaping jaws, almost seeming tempted to jump in. (read the rest of this shit…)