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Netflix’s ‘The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari’ Trailer Retraces the 2019 Horrific Tragedy

Netflix is revisiting the devastating December 2019 volcanic eruption off the East Coast of New Zealand in it’s latest documentary, The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rory Kennedy (Last Days in Vietnam), the feature chronicles the minute-by-minute accounts of the tourists groups who became trapped in the epicenter of a boiling pyroclastic surge of toxic dust and ash. Through first-hand video and audio by those on the island and surrounding area, the film depicts the tragic moments of those caught in the eruption and the survivors and the everyday people who came to their rescue. Watch the trailer above.


Image: AFP

Leopnardo Dicaprio and Ron Howard will both served as exectutive producers to tell this terrfying yet inspring story. Kennedy directs and produces the film, which screened at AFI and DOC NYC ahead of the three-year anniversary of the tragic natural disaster that claimed 22 lives. The Volcano is the latest in a long line of documentaries for the prolific filmmaker who is well-known for her directorial efforts with the Academy Award-nominated Last Days in Vietnam, American Hollow, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, and, more recently, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing.

“From the beginning, ‘The Volcano’ struck me largely as an event: a harrowing, lethal event, an eruption that happened at a specific time on a specific day and set into motion a specific narrative,” director Kennedy told Filmmaker Magazine. “So, from the start, my impulse was to try to render that event with the belief that the characters involved would emerge and define themselves through their relationship to it, through their choices and actions in the face of that eruption. Similarly, my hope was that whatever meaning one might extract from that day, it too would come out of absorbing what had happened and spending time with the people involved.”

Kennedy added, “Given the proliferation of cellphones and video cameras, as well as the fact that this was indeed a tourist activity, I believed there had to be footage that would enable me to stay close to the ground, minute-by-minute, and that by structuring the film that way, the sum total of those minutes would add up to something larger.”

The Volcano: Rescue From Whakaari releases on Netflix on December 16.