You could literally make a documentary about anything. You just need a passion…maybe obsession…with your subject matter. Adelin Gasana’s short documentary, High On Heels, leads us deep into the world of the high heel shoe.
Gasana takes a reasonably academic approach to his 45-minutes treatise on the high heel. High On Heels opens in a dance studio featuring several sophisticated women practicing a provocative dance routine ala Chicago and spotlighting their shoes.
We then walk down the educational path of the high heel shoe. High On Heels presents talking-head testimonials of experts and influencers testifying about the empowerment women feel when donning a pair of heels, how the heels are a symbol of femininity and the feelings of inspiration that arise when entering a room wearing heels.
From the introductory empowerment derived from the heel, we move to the history as it was initially created for men as part of a formal military dress. The film then shifts to the making of the heel with an interview of a master cobbler talking about the satisfaction he feels in crafting a heel.
Most importantly, the documentary addresses the controversies surrounding the heel. The most obvious is the physical strain it places not only on our feet but on the back and other joints as well. If you have to take your shoes off when you arrive at work because of pain, then maybe not wearing them is worth considering.
“…a symbol of femininity and the feelings of inspiration that arise when entering a room wearing heels.”
Along with physical issues, there are social ones. ABC’s Robin Roberts talks about wearing flats to her job at ESPN. The men didn’t care, but it was her female co-workers questioning why she wasn’t in heels. The ultimate question is posed whether a woman’s self-esteem can be focused solely on the height of her heels—a symbol of confidence and a source of physical pain.
As far as documentaries go, High On Heels is a straightforward presentation of the high heel shoe. There’s not a lot of frills to its presentation. I’m not a fan of the sound quality, but it’s clear enough. It’s low budget, but most importantly, it’s informative. My interest in the high heel is very low, but I definitely know more about the subject than before. I could fake my way through a conversation about high heels and come across like I know a thing or two.
If you’re a fan of the high heel or want some necessary information about the subject, High On Heels is a great place to start.
"…the physical strain it places not only on our feet but on the back and other joints..."