The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft
Mt. Unzen, Kyushu, Japan.
At 3:18pm, on June 3rd 1991, a pyroclastic flow – a cloud of superheated gases and particles – descended at over 100mph from the peak of the volcano, consuming everything in its path.
It instantly killed Katia and Maurice Krafft, volcanologists and filmmakers from the Alsace region in France. They were too close. They were almost always too close. On the day before they died, Maurice said in an interview: “I am never afraid, because I’ve seen so many eruptions in 25 years that, even if I die tomorrow, I don’t care.”
The Kraffts left an archive of over 200 hours of footage, unprecedented in its spectacular and hypnotic beauty. Werner Herzog who had access to the entire archive, created a film that cannot be categorized. It is not a biography. It is a rather a requiem celebrating the legacy of Katia and Maurice Krafft.