Finding an original romantic movie that really makes you feel new emotions and doesn’t repeat the same formulas of the genre (ahem, Wounded Hearts) is not at all common. That’s why, when a love story surprises and makes the cynic in me fall in love, I have the cinephile need to share it. And this is the case of Fire of Love, a feature film that exudes volcanic passion telling a true love story that, in its documentary form, is crowned the best romantic film I’ve seen in 2022.
Fire of Love tells the story of Katia and Maurice Krafft, two volcanologists who left countless hours of footage capturing their volcanic adventures and explorations, capturing the love trio they shared with the erupting craters. And so, between rivers of lava and volcanic eruptions that lyrically expose the power of nature, the film reveals to us a manifestation of love like few others. However, if it is surprising that he writes in the past tense, it is because they died in 1991 when they were filming the eruption of Mount Unzen in Japan, along with journalists, firefighters and volcanologists who were there. A death they took for granted could happen one day. “I’m never afraid because I’ve seen so many eruptions in 23 years that if I die tomorrow, I don’t care,” Maurice once said.
Nobody knows for sure how they met, but this French couple immediately connected through their passion for volcanoes. They dedicated their entire lives to exploration and research, making a conscious decision not to have children in order to focus squarely on their common fascination with the cataclysmic power of Earth. They revered the power of nature, seeing in the volcanoes a manifestation of the heart of the planet while lava is the blood that flows through their veins.
With the exception of some sporadic recreations, the entire film is based on the footage they made themselves, approaching volcanic eruptions at a distance of 30 centimeters from the lava. That is, constantly putting their lives at risk. But they were not afraid. They celebrated it, they danced to the sound of each eruption, they caressed the traces of past eruptions and they smiled all the time transmitting the happiness of someone who was living their greatest dream.
They were full of motivation, camping for weeks at the foot of craters or volcanoes, risking their lives as they took turns keeping an eye out in case an eruption suddenly finished them off. And every image in Fire of Love captures that unconditional love. The passion is palpable through each eruption filmed with astonishing closeness, with each painting of lava in movement and with the joy that together they transmitted when they talked about volcanoes or were close to one.
And so, between the detailed narration that focuses exclusively on them and not on dissecting their lives from a purely documentary and historical angle, and the power of those images, director Sara Dosa creates a unique and unrepeatable non-fiction romantic film.
With each volcanic eruption we feel the passion of Katia and Maurice. With each caress, smile and kamikaze courage we discover a love story of two people who gave themselves fully to living their love together but elevating their dreams and passions to the point of giving them absolute priority.
For them, the danger was part of the appeal. The closer they got to those hollows of the boiling planet, the more curiosity grew stronger than fear. And with their volcanic love story, Katia and Maurice invite us to live life with passionate courage for their own dreams, desires and desires. They risked their lives without any fear, aware of the risk they ran with each expedition, but they did it together, sharing the courage but, above all, the absolute happiness of feeling the lava around them, vibrating with the power of nature under his feet. “I prefer a short and intense life than a long and monotonous one” says Maurice in one of the images of him. And while I’m not going to stand near an erupting volcano, it’s a phrase I’ll keep forever along with those images of immeasurable power.
This National Geographic work has been captivating critics and attendees of different film festivals in the US for several months, and it is now that it finally begins its tour of theaters around the world. In Spain we can see it on the billboard from August 26 -as in other countries- while it plans to land on Disney + later (there is still no confirmed date but it is worth being attentive). In any case, if you have the opportunity, I recommend seeing it in a movie theater because of the grandeur of its images, the power and effect they cause, since they are the heart that makes this beautiful love story beat.
And remember his name because Fire of Love has all the ballots to enter directly into the race for the next Oscars.
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