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14th DMZ Docs(2022)

I AM DOCU



The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft

Werner HERZOG

  • UK, France
  • 2022
  • 81min
  • 12 +
  • DCP
  • color

KP

Synopsis

On 3 June 1991, a deadly cloud of hot gas and rock spewed out of Japan’s Mount Unzen. Among the 43 people consumed by it were scientist-filmmakers Maurice and Katia Krafft. They left behind over 200 hours of footage from their decades of work, which Herzog draws on for this stunning eulogy. From 1977’s La Soufrière through to 2016’s Into the Inferno, Herzog has long been fascinated by these violent natural events and his deeply personal voiceover is a fitting memorial to two people who gave their lives in the pursuit of both science and the pure cinematic image.

Review

One of the important subjects Werner Herzog has delved deeply into is madness. Among the various filmic trajectories of his is a journey of reflecting on civilization and finding the essence of human existence, through capturing the sublime in what has been considered madness by the governing systems of those with capital and power. Herzog’s newest, The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft is placed on this trail. The filmmaker learned about the French volcanologist couple, Katia and Maurice Krafft, during the making of Into the Inferno in 2016. They were known for taking photos and videos of volcanic eruptions up close. Their image of walking into the blasting magma reminds of the primordial and pure fascination of cinema. Although they passed away from the eruption of Mount Unzen in Japan, 1991, the 200 hours of videos and pictures they left live on in this new work by Herzog. The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft is a beautiful ode to the couple’s deadly passion and the love behind it.

Director

  • Werner HERZOG

    German film director, author, actor. Herzog started work on his first film Herakles in 1961. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than sixty feature films and documentaries such as Encounters at the End of the World(2007), Into the Abyss(2011). ​

Credit