I get several requests every year from indie film makers, inviting me to screen and review their movies. Some of these, like The Road To The Well, are near masterpieces, but most are a total waste of time, being poorly made vanity projects. High On Heels is a well-made 45 minute documentary on a phenomena we see every day, those stilts that women love to wear. Are high heels beauty or pain? Are they a woman’s best friend, or her feet’s worse enemy? These are the sort of questions that are addressed in this unusual documentary.
Film-maker Adelin Gasana shows that high heels are much more than a painful fashion statement that has trended for women for hundreds of years. One very interesting aspect of this documentary is that the history of high heels was covered, and it is shown that this footwear goes back quite a way. Persian men, 5 centuries ago, wore high heels in order to help maintain their feet in the spurs while riding horseback. The appeal for heels on men fell out of favor during the enlightenment period as they were seen as effeminate and not very trendy away from the horse.
In the 19th and 20th century, high heels were embraced by women as an expression of sexuality, sensuality and empowerment, a fashion and gender statement that persists to this day. Of course, any woman who has worn high heels know that they are not very practical, so why do they wear them? It is this aspect of footwear fashion that is discussed most thoroughly in this short film.
Everyone is interviewed. Historians, dance instructors, models and modeling agencies, podiatrists, chiropractors, cobblers, politicians, newscasters, corporate America, engineers, scientists and pole dancers all give their input on the phenomena of the high heel. A lot of time is spent on the medical consequences of this unnatural accessory, the one that women love to hate. Again, why do women subject themselves to this obvious misery?
“What is the theme of the high heel?” is the question that is so pervasive during this surprisingly engaging documentary. “When can I wear high heels?” is the common query of almost every little girl, yearning for that symbol of womanhood. Heels are seen as a right of passage, a symbol of sexuality, femininity and empowerment for the female. “Anything that makes you beautiful is going to hurt, girl” is uttered by a hairdresser to one of her clients. There is no turning the page on this fashion icon, high heels are here to stay.
Adelin Gasana did all the things right in this very watchable documentary. It was interesting, informative and instructional, without being judgmental or preachy. There was a nice balance of history, medical physiology, social commentary and personal interaction to hold my attention for the full 44 minutes. I can honestly state that I have never thought about this subject beyond the primitive male gaze of appreciating a woman dressed to the nines. From the strip club to the news and board rooms, high heels are an embedded cultural reality.
Most Popular Style Of Heels In The World
Greatest Quote In Documentary: “Eight Inches in your face, baby” -A pole dancer
7.5/10.0 with The Goatesian Rating Of Interesting and Watchable
Available Free with Prime Video