April 28, 2022

SCREEN | Chasing Volcanoes – 'Fire of Love' Erupts x DOXA 2022

"It's two young volcanologists dancing on the edge of a volcano."
Katia Krafft Sara Dosa | Fire of Love | DOXA 2022
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Fire of Love documents the extraordinary lives of married French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft who were trailblazing pioneers obsessed with capturing footage of active volcanoes before dying tragically in a pyroclastic flow on Mount Unzen in Japan in 1991. Director Sara Dosa uses the quirky couple's own decades worth of material compiled to tell their incredible real-life story of love and lava.

Narrated matter-of-factly by Miranda July, the Kraffts' majestic archival footage paints a spectacular portrait of science and marriage. There's an amusingly straightforward yet flatly imaginative quality to the non-fiction storytelling injecting some French New Wave storytelling techniques to create a wondrous sense of discovery to their scientific research.

Dosa's didactic, wryly dry style creates a cohesive mood piece of measured awe and excitement around the Kraffts' firey obsession with chasing volcanoes. It's all very charming and sweet despite the impending sense of tragedy. Still, seeing the self-described pair of "weirdos" live and work so joyously towards their passion firsthand cannot help but be uplifting or inspiring.

Katia & Maurice Krafft Sara Dosa | Fire of Love | DOXA 2022
National Geographic Documentary Films / Mongrel Media
How Fire of Love tells its spellbinding yet tragic love affair set against the backdrop of active volcanic eruptions offers an odd yet endearing, occasionally Wes Anderson-style approach to its scientific documentary material. It's an elegiac celebration of the Krafft's enthralling lives and lifelong dedication to their work.

Fire of Love screens as the opening night film of the 2022 DOXA Documentary Film Festival as part of the Memory and Archives spotlight at the Vancouver Playhouse on May 7th and SFU Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema on May 15th. It also screens virtually online from May 5th to 15th.

Update: Fire of Love screens at the Rio Theatre starting July 31st and at the VIFF Centre starting September 2nd.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Moveable Fest / New Scientist / POV

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