Created by:Layla Terence Dai
The article title is: Behind Fire of Love
While searching for footage of local volcanoes, Dosa came across footage of Katia and Maurice online – it was enough to pique her creative interest. She kept the idea in the back of her mind to continue in the future. As the COVID-19 global emergency forced Dosa’s team to abandon the planned project in Siberia, the story of Katia and Maurice, as told in pre-existing documents, reappeared as a promising avenue.She explains the reason for this.
” Not only because it was archival, but in our minds we thought it might be a transcendent form that could tell a story of fear, uncertainty and how to navigate the unknown in such a time of loss and struggle.”
By the time Dosa wanted to access the Krafft family’s amazing collection, it was already in possession of the French archival institution Image’Est. The organisation had spent months previously untanned celluloid for use by filmmakers. In total, the team collected thousands of Katia’s photographs and 250 hours of video – some 200 hours of 16mm prints shot by Katia and Morris, plus another 50 hours of television performances obtained from the French National Archives with the help of researcher Nancy Marcotte.
“There is no synchronised sound on the 16mm film, and there are very few images of the two of them together in what they filmed, as there was usually someone behind the camera,” Dosa notes.” They didn’t film their personal lives either. They wanted to film only the volcano.”
To fill the gap of overt intimacy, Dosa and her collaborators had to explore other means of storytelling. The answer resides in the couple’s nearly 20 published books. Katia and Morris’ writing is infused with emotional language, and their narration reminded Dosa “that we felt it might be appropriate to channel their own artistic impulses in our film making. That’s why narration seemed feasible. But we wanted a curious and inquisitive narrator to point out something unknown, a gap in the archive, rather than claiming to have all the knowledge.” she says.
Co-written with producer Shane Boris and two editors, Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput, Dosa wrote the exciting text that will guide the audience into her subject’s lava-covered universe. Initially, the creators considered a Frenchman as narrator, but during a brainstorming session, the name of a filmmaker and actress Miranda Julien emerged as an option.
We thought Miranda would be perfect, not only because she is herself a curious observer of the human condition, but also because so much of her work deals with the strange beauty of what it means not only to be alive, but to be in our relationships with each other,” says Dossa.
Although they interviewed around 15 people who knew the couple, the filmmakers ultimately chose to include their anecdotes in the narrative, rather than include parts of the conversation that would have disrupted the perspective focused on the protagonists. The director also embraced the methodology of geology in her film making: the willingness to accept that not every question can be answered and that there is beauty in the unknown.
“Geologists like Katia and Morris,” Dosa explains, “investigated the clues left behind through earth processes, trying to tell a story about creation through the language of science.” We want to take these clues, these fragments of life they left behind, their personal imprint of life processes, and interpret them through research, as if we were scientists trying to understand them to the best of our ability. And then tell a story about what we know, but also hint at what we don’t know, and what is never available in our search.”