FILM: Fire of Love (2022, Sara Dosa)

National Geographic documentary film Fire of Love premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film provides an overview of the professional and personal lives of legendary volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, from how they first bonded over their fascination and extreme academic interest in volcanoes as students, throughout their marriage and careers, to their deaths in a volcanic explosion in 1991 – 25 years after first meeting.

PROS

  • The film is made up almost entirely of archival footage of both the work and personal lives of the Kraffts, as well as volcanoes/volcanology – including some eruptions and their aftermath, including the devastation and destruction they caused. This footage is utterly striking and tremendously sobering in equal measure, making for captivating cinema.
  • The film celebrates just how fascinating yet terrifying the science of volcanology, providing an intriguing exploration of aspects of it, but also highlighting just how truly devastating a volcano’s destructive power can be with some historical examples (including footage of their aftermaths).
  • The film celebrates the Kraffts’ utterly remarkable careers (which were game-changing and benefited countless people) and how their fascination with volcanology testifies to how much having things in common can cause people to bond. This celebration is made all the more wonderful by Miranda July’s heartfelt narration.

CONS

  • Given that this 93-minute-long film provides an overview of the Kraffts’ personal and professional lives, and also teaches about volcanology, this documentary film could easily have been a miniseries, which is especially apparent as there are some scenes that feel quite rushed and some transitions are quite disjointed.

VERDICT: 8/10

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