Highlighting the History of High Heels

Highlighting the History of High Heels

Photo Courtesy of DocuJourney Productions

“I feel like heels are super important,” said Torwa Joe, aerial artist. “They make us walk different. They make us stand different. We even talk different when we have a pair of heels on.”

Adelin Gasana, a documentary filmmaker based in Atlanta, Georgia, recently released his latest film “High on Heels” on Amazon Prime.

People frequently ask Gasana, why, as a straight man, he chose to create a documentary about high heels. He chose the strong symbol of femininity after he realized that they can often cause health problems in the women who wear them.

“My friend Lola Kayode, who produced this project with me, had back problems,” Gasana said. “She looked like a healthy, very fit woman and she was explaining to me, as she was rather young, that it was years of wearing heels…Then I started asking questions… so I say ‘you know what?’ I think there’s something here. There’s a good story here.”

Photo Courtesy of DocuJourney Productions

People, particularly women, see high heels as symbols of power and sexuality. However, they are notorious for being painful to wear, especially for long periods of time. “High on Heels” explores this dynamic between pain, beauty and power through the eyes of many women and even one man, a professional cobbler who makes his living fixing women’s heels.

When making the film, Gasana wanted to ensure that he represented women of all ages, races and backgrounds. Dancers, doctors and historians give their input on the importance, history and effect of heels on womanhood.

“High on Heels” has been featured at the Miami Fashion Film Festival, the United Kingdom Fashion Film Festival and the Los Angeles Fashion Film Festival. COVID-19 “threw a monkey wrench” in the release schedule for the film. However, Gasana released it on YouTube and later Amazon Prime because he did not want to push the film back.

“We were really positioning 2020 to be the year for the rollout to the film festival circuit,” Gasana said. “Instead of sitting around waiting on the pandemic to go away…we thought ‘Let’s get this out in an online, digital distribution route.’ We thought that was an effective way of getting it out there.”

Gasana has written and produced several other documentary-style films and short films. He covers a wide range of topics, from the impact of Cuban Americans on Miami culture, mega-pastors, philosophy, and more.

He is currently working on a documentary called “Pantheon” which will be about the history and development of Black superheroes over the years. The film will cover both renowned comic books such as DC and Marvel comics as well as smaller, independent comics.

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