Fire of Love
National Geographic Documentary Films presents A Sandbox Films Production / An Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production (Disney+)
“We fall hard for what we know, harder for what we don’t.” With these words, Fire of Love informs us that what we are witnessing, above all, is a love story. The documentary centers on Katia and Maurice Krafft, French volcanologists bound by a mutual passion for the scientific study of active volcanoes. Their shared obsession compels them to travel the globe to observe and record volcanic eruptions. In the process, they become unlikely media celebrities, until their tragic deaths during the eruption of Mt. Unzen in 1991. Directed by Sara Dosa, Fire of Love tells their story through the Kraffts’ own archive of images, featuring spectacular, up-close footage of volcanic eruptions taken by the couple as they relentlessly defy danger to gain proximity to ineluctable forces of nature. Their boldness at first seems nothing short of recklessness. However, by allowing viewers to see the beauty of volcanoes through their eyes, the film evolves into a meditation on the sublime earthliness of human attachments. The result is at once an intimate portrait of an ordinary marriage and a celebration of scientific determination at its most extraordinary. Miranda July’s narration provides viewers with informative context that blends hauntingly with the visual imagery unfolding before our eyes. Fire of Love unforgettably captures the visual poetry and magnitude of our relations to one another and to a living planet that is always roiling and seething beneath our feet, and for this we award it a Peabody.