The newest documentary from National Geographic is now on Disney+, but why does the world love “Fire of Love”? With its nearly perfect 99% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and numerous nominations and awards from film festivals, we wanted to ask the director Sara Dosa why people are resonating with the film so well.
“The documentary is actually probably getting so much attention because Katia and Maurice were getting so much attention when they were alive,” Dosa said to us in a video interview. “So much of their lives as a couple was chasing and studying these dangerous volcanoes, and the public back in the 1980s and 1990s found that fascinating.”
Katia and Maurice Krafft were French volcanologists who, through their 20-plus year career became famous for traveling the world to places where volcanic eruptions happened. While at these dangerous locations, both of them collected scientific data and filmed the beautifully dangerous geologic events.
Much of the documentary features filmed footage and took photographic stills that was shot by the Kraffts in their travels, which very much is National Geographic in brand with beautiful imagery of nature. However, much of that was captured with film and required “extra care” when looking and then digitizing the media they would use from the archives, according to Dosa.
Dosa knew that Katia and Maurice’s almost surreal footage they captured of the world’s volcanoes alone was worth of creating a documentary, but Dosa felt Katia and Maurice were the true stars of her documentary.
“We can’t separate the volcanoes from the Krafft’s,” Dosa said. “Like Katia and Maurice, they are inseparable.” And she isn’t kidding.
While much of the documentary chronicles the Krafft’s travels and research, much more of it reflects on who they were as a couple. Dosa believed that their mutual of love for these destructive and unpredictable forces of nature was a metaphor for their relationship, including how both of them were killed in June 1991 while documenting an eruption in Japan.
Now more than three decades later, Dosa believes more than ever that their legacy is their love of each other and these volcanoes. “There’s something beautiful and attractive there that’s timeless,” she said.