Fire of Love

FIRE OF LOVE is an unexpected love story of two intrepid scientists who die in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: seeking to understand the magic of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded.

Born and raised only 15 miles apart in the French region of Alsace, the impassioned pair meet as university students. They immediately fall in love, connecting deeply over a shared fascination with volcanoes. After graduation, they marry and decide to roam the planet together documenting and studying eruptions.

The more eruptions the two witness, the higher the danger they encounter - which, despite both being daredevils, affects them both differently. The danger seduces Maurice to get ever closer to volcanoes; he burns madly for the ecstatic instant and concocts high-risk stunts - no matter what the cost. The danger however beckons Katia to understand volcanoes, to listen deeply to their power. She dreams of growing old and wise with volcanoes and thinks Maurice’s impetuous behavior could get one or both of them killed. 

Tension grows between the two, especially when they are at home in Alsace -- a place they disparagingly describe as a waiting room at an airport: a transitory place of restlessness on the way to somewhere else. But Maurice and Katia ultimately realize that they need volcanoes - the danger, the adventure, the quest for knowledge and understanding - in order for their own relationship to function. 

As Katia memorably says, “I would always like to be near craters, drunk with fire, gas, my face burned by the heat...It's not that I flirt with my death, but at this point I don't care about it, because there is the pleasure of approaching the beast and not knowing if he is going to catch you.” Tragically, that beast catches them: On June 3rd, 1991, a deadly ball of gas - otherwise known as a pyroclastic flow - rages down Japan's Mt. Unzen killing Katia & Maurice instantly from their observation post. Three days later, a camera and Maurice’s wrist watch are recovered from the site of the blast, the hands frozen in time at 4:18pm.

Poetic in style and playful in spirit, FIRE OF LOVE uses the Kraffts’ spectacular archive to chart a story of creation and destruction, of the ephemeral and the geologic, of nature and humanity and, most importantly, of Maurice and Katia’s love – both for each other and the planet.