In Focus: The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft
Lecture & Screening
Michael Fox is a film critic and journalist for KQED’s Arts and Culture blog. He is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle and an inductee of SFFILM’s Essential SF. Fox has taught documentary classes in the OLLI programs at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University for some twenty years.
The globe-trotting husband and wife volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft paired their scientific interests with a rare gift for filmmaking, shooting countless 16mm images of fiery red and deathly gray eruptions that are staggeringly beautiful and often terrifying, glimpses of an eternal promise of both life and death. Herzog’s “requiem” for the Kraffts (who died in Japan’s tragic 1991 Mt. Unzen eruption) presents these visions with remarkable reverence, partly due to their sheer wonder and possibly because the duo’s commitment to crossing the world, to document the fire within, is emblematic of Herzog’s own. “This is a radical filmmaker acknowledging two kindred spirits. . . . Solemn, sparse, and hypnotic” (Film Stage).