After working at quite a steady clip the last few decades, the usually intrepid 79-year-old Werner Herzog has had a rightfully quiet pandemic. We’ve now finally learned what he’s been working on as news has arrived of his next documentary.
The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft, backed by Abacus Media Rights, tells the story of the French volcanologists, which were not only brought up in Herzog’s previous film Into the Inferno––his 2016 collaboration with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer––but are also the subjects of this year’s Sundance sensation Fire of Love.
Herzog’s film, which he of course narrates, pulls from the over 200 hours of footage the duo left behind following their death in 1991 at the base of a volcanic explosion. It’ll certainly be interesting to contrast Herzog’s take on the tale after Sara Dosa’s documentary, which features voiceover narration from Miranda July and will be released by National Geographic Documentary Films later this year.
In our review of Fire of Love, Jordan Raup said, “In a bond forged over mutual fascination (or obsession) with the mysteries of volcanoes, Katia and Maurice Krafft dedicated their lives to discovering everything they could about these natural phenomena. Forces of both awe-inspiring wonder and tragic disaster, Sara Dosa’s archival documentary Fire of Love gracefully captures this extreme dichotomy while also getting to the heart of what drove this couple to abandon a routine, domesticated lifestyle and literally sacrifice their lives in the mission to save others. In telling their devotion to one of the natural world’s most dangerous forces, Dosa crafts a documentary that would make Herzog proud.”
As for Herzog’s film, producer Alexandre Soullier told Variety, “The Kraffts are myths of French exploration, through their work they have reached a wide audience by making science extraordinary. Discovering their archives three years ago with my friends at Brian Leith Productions was a shock; a revelation. The Kraffts were born storytellers, as is Werner Herzog. Uniting his vision, his talent, his sensitivity to the fabulous material collected by the Kraffts can only result in a bubbling, mesmeric and powerful film. Watching Werner Herzog’s ‘Grizzly Man’ was a unique experience for me. Sometimes disturbing. Powerful. Captivating. No doubt ‘The Fire Within’ will be the new ‘Grizzly Man.’ But of volcanoes.”
See a teaser poster below.