Werner Herzog’s latest documentary explores the science and myths of volcanoes, featuring the expertise of volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer.
Though the crew filmed near many live volcanoes, Herzog is adamant that his priority was making sure everybody was safe.
“We are very, very cautious in what we are doing,” he tells Vulture, before going on to explain how a volcano they were filming went on to erupt–with fatalities–days later. “Nothing is completely predictable. Not like the weather report: ‘Tomorrow, we’ll have heavy rains rolling in.’ That volcano hadn’t had a serious eruption in five, six years. But Clive, who kept an eye on the summit, saw that huge boulders came loose and kept rolling down. And he knew that there were some tremors inside, and because of that we turned our car around. And 60 seconds after we filmed this eruption that didn’t do harm to anyone, he ordered everyone, ‘Get in the car and out!’ Sixty seconds later we were out. And we never came back, and a few days later we learned that there was a more massive eruption that killed at least seven people who were exactly where we were with our camera.”
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