“Fire of Love”: the burning and terrible love of Katia and Maurice Krafft at the heart of an American documentary

Together in life and through their common love for volcanoes, French scientists Maurice and Katia Krafft can know the fire of love to the end.

Died on the side of a volcano in Japan in 1991, the couple is at the center of an American documentary made from stunning and sometimes terrifying videos shot by Krafft in craters around the world, and sometimes even inside. .

The film, which was released this week in the United States, has won over critics and some are already predicting the film’s awards.

While conducting research on Iceland’s volcanoes the director Sara Dosa was spotted “amazing images” to the Krafft couple, but he said he was first and foremost attracted by it “the love that shines” in these shots.

For 25 years, Maurice and Katia Krafft have traveled the world in search of active volcanoes, published about twenty books and made five feature films, not to mention TV movies or conferences.

Their horrific disappearance of Mount Unzen in Japan, which erupted in 1991 after nearly two centuries of sleep, marked the spirits. A burning cloud, a mixture of gas, ash and rocks, suddenly took them off with about forty people.

“Away from Love” begins and ends with this drama, but the documentary is more interesting than usual “love triangle” uniting the two researchers and their volcanic obsession.

“When we really knew who they were as people, and the fact that they were not only married but also in love with the volcanoes, we said to ourselves,‘ OK, we want to make a movie about these tawhana ‘”, said Sara Dosa of the AFP.

Volcanoes, “It’s what unites them in the first place, and it’s the driving force, the fuel of their relationship”, he believed.

Kayaking and New Wave

If Maurice is the more outgoing and probably the more daring of the two – he paddles in an acidic lake and considers kayaking in a lava flow – Katia is also exceptionally brave in the face of dangerous situations.

The Kraffts ’unbridled enthusiasm has attracted criticism from other scientists, but“ I don’t think anyone has found them indifferent, frankly, ”the director said.

“At the end of the day, they have life and death that are both meaningful. And a lot of it is about following their love, ” he added.

After witnessing the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980 in the northwestern United States, then the Nevado del Ruiz disaster that killed about 25,000 people in Colombia five years ago, Kraffts decided to raise awareness.

“Because they were one of the few people who actually got these fly images, they were in the very best position for this job. And that’s literally what they were trying to do when they died in 1991.” promotes Sara Dosa.

The director also emphasizes the power of the images shot by the Kraffts, full of glowing lava, desolate scenes that seem to come from another planet, all with a different style that according to him has all “characteristics of the New Wave”. French filmmakers.

He cites as an example the way volcanologists play “quick zoom, which reminds us of French films from the 1960s and 1970s”.

Sara Dosa says she was inspired by this style herself for her documentary and to speak in “three” formed in Katia, Mauritius and in the volcanoes.

“One of the famous sources of the New Wave account is based on love triangle stories”, he smiled.

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