Runtime: 98 minutes
Director: Sara Dosa
Writers: Sara Dosa, Shane Boris, Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput
By Tom Moore
Sara Dosa’s “Fire of Love” is a burning real-life romantic tale of two fated lovers whose love for each other and volcanoes makes for an immersive and unexpectedly emotional viewing experience.
Narrated by Miranda July, director of “Kajillionaire”(2020), the documentary uses the archived footage of French husband and wife volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft to tell their love story and impact on volcanology. “Fire of Love” is legitimately one of the most visually mesmerizing films of the year with the Krafft’s archived footage being truly magical at times. Lava flows are totally hypnotizing and there’s something unique about watching Katia and Maurice traverse legendary volcanoes around the world. Some of the footage is breathtaking and so immersive you feel like you’re alongside them as they trek through these gorgeous molten mountains. Some of the footage of volcanic explosions is truly awe-striking and worthy alone of seeing “Fire of Love” on the biggest screen possible.
The film provides a deep and stunning look into some of the world’s most naturally dangerous yet compelling places and the fact that this footage is real makes it more connective and intriguing. By the end of the film, you’ll fall in love with volcanoes just like the Krafft’s did and possibly them as well. Dosa’s direction and July’s narration turn Katia and Maurice’s simple love story into a heartwarming and almost fateful romance that instantly tethers to your heart. Their story together is full of great humor, real love and care, and a shared fearlessness that makes them easily loveable and captivating on-screen figures. It’s hard not to love their volcano puns and you can really tell how much they love each other and are fascinated by volcanoes every time they speak. Plus, July’s narration can feel like a fiery fairytale being told and it greatly elevates the emotion and connection made.
Along with focusing on the Krafft’s love for each other and volcanoes, “Fire of Love” acts as a great way for anyone to become more infatuated by volcanoes. Just like the Kraffts did with their research, “Fire of Love” finds organic and impactful ways to talk about volcanoes so that even novices will be enthralled by the science behind them. The Kraffts explaining their research and discoveries through their footage makes the film much more engaging in its scientific research. The sheer viewing experience of seeing volcanoes so up close and personal and explosive is enough to make “Fire of Love” easily hook your attention, but it’s great how the film adds more depth to the experience through knowledge.
It’s especially great because making people more aware of volcanoes was a key goal for the Kraffts and the film does a great job showing the human impact of their research. The entire last act is much more somber as it details the traumatic volcanic explosion of the Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia in 1985. It’s an absolutely harrowing experience watching their footage of the destruction and death it caused, but it all builds around how they wanted to use their research to help people. While the Kraffts will always be known for their endeavors with volcanoes together, the film helps leave a greater impact on their legacy in their desires to help the world become more aware of the impact of volcanoes and creating safety measures that ultimately save lives.
“Fire of Love” is undoubtedly one of the best documentaries of the year thus far as Dosa, with the help of the Kraffts and July’s narration, showcases a fated romantic tale that’ll melt your heart with the sincerity of its central couple as well as some jaw-dropping visuals that simply can’t be rivaled. Volcanoes were already cool, but “Fire of Love” will take your love or interest of them to explosive new heights.