BOSTON — While 80 percent of the earth's volcanic activity occurs mostly out of sight under the ocean, the other 20 percent, like the current devastating eruptions of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, is on land and can be 'felt' close-up on film. "Ring of Fire," a movie premiering at the Boston Museum of Science's Mugar Omni Theater on June 21 and running through the end of the year, takes viewers inside the mouth of active volcanoes and allows them to witness eruptions as they happen.
The movie uses computer graphics to vividly explain why eruptions occur, with animation to illustrate how the movement of the earth's tectonic plates creates volcanoes and their explosions.
"Ring of Fire" takes viewers on a tour of villages where eruptions are common and shows how volcanoes have become part of their religion, culture, and customs.
The audience witnesses the Kecak Dance in Indonesia, where the God of the Demons battles the God of the Monkey people, a conflict that represents volcanic devastation and chaos and the return to order.
The movie takes the viewer to Nagano National Park in Japan to see the snow monkeys, the earth's northern-most monkey species, lounging in geothermal springs created by volcanic activity.
"We spent seven years gathering footage," says George Casey, the film's director and producer. "A volcano won't erupt just when you need it to.... We became volcano chasers, rushing off every time someone called about a possible eruption."
The film is scheduled to open within a year in 23 Omni and Imax theaters thoughout the world, including Asia and Europe. It debuted last month in St. Paul, Minn., San Diego, Vancouver, B.C., and the Hague in the Netherlands.