A recurring theme in documentaries is the ability to define logic and explore greatness. This often happens when your subject is willing to go beyond the norm to continue their passion. Sara Dosa’s exuberant love story is no different, but very few documentaries over the years have focused on a love this captivating. Throw in some quirky French music, super 8 footage and a wonderful narration by Miranda July and you got yourself a real winner that audiences will easily fall for.
Katia and Maurice Krafft were volcanologists which yes means they studied volcanos. It also means their love for volcanos exceeds most people’s passion for anything, loving something means taking the risk to be hurt and they take this meaning to the extreme. This risk unfortunately cost them their life in 1991 but not before they left a legacy of information and enthusiasm. Using archive footage straight from the Krafft’s own camera you spend half the film amazed yelling “how in the hell did they film this?” The Earth moves, lava flows, and explosions shoot out skin melting debris, and what do the Kraffts do? They walk right up to it smile for the camera and wave.
Even with all this excitement Dosa balances a wonderful story about two people in love who can’t check off one thing in the conventional box. Katia is the geo-chemist, Maurice the geologist. They create characters of themselves, perfect the talk show persona, and bond over their love for making movies (even though they claim to not enjoy filmmaking). Their eccentric style of filmmaking plays like something Wes Anderson would keep in his personal library, in fact when the inevitable live action adaption comes along his name will certai9nley be tossed into the ring. Like most people whose passion does not involve talking to humans the Krafft’s are a peculiar duo choosing being away from society and finding their sanctuary amongst the earth. At 93 minutes Dosa knows to dedicate nearly every minute to her main subjects. However, there is a detour that slows things down as well as a moment that would have made a perfect ending that is shoved in front of a final ten minutes that does not hit as hard. It is a small misstep in an otherwise mesmerizing tale of doing what you love and finding the one other person out of millions that you share your love with. Isn’t that what we are all looking for?
FIRE OF LOVE PREMIERED AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
NEON WILL CO-DISTRIBUTE THE FILM THIS YEAR