Wednesday, September 29, 2010


About the Film

This is a film about dreams, and a tale bound together by beautiful high-heeled shoes. Brand-name high heels costing anywhere from $300 to $1000 – exactly who is it that makes them? From procuring the leather, to the assembly line, to the contract manufacturer, to the moment when lily-white feet slip into each pair of high heels, how many people’s hands do these shoes pass through? The farming woman who tends the cattle, the worker, the manager of the contract manufacturing firm, the young New York woman from a wealthy family who wears the shoes – they all have their own difficulties and little sources of happiness in life. This film adopts their dreams as its central theme, and reveals the story that lies behind a pair of beautiful high heel shoes.

Filmed over a period of two years, this documentary traces the footsteps of a pair of name-brand high-heeled shoes, from the border of China and Russia to the streets of Manhattan, from an impoverished farm town and the sanguinary spectacle of slaughtered cows and skinned hides, to the fashionable, prosperous metropolis. In the spring, the hide of the calves have just been skinned, and the woman assembly-line worker meticulously touches up every last detail of the shoes. By winter of the same year, those tiny details can be seen on the feet of a fashionable woman in New York City.

The impact of globalization on this world manifests itself in each pair of high heel shoes. Every link in the manufacturing chain is its own segment with its own story, and each has its own protagonist. Through the camera, we see the shoes the protagonists wear, ranging from 2 renminbi to 600 US dollars. The film reveals a young female assembly-line worker, with her own feelings of joy, disillusionment and sorrow; a Taiwanese businessman in China, managing a contract manufacturing firm and negotiating with international customers; the inner world of a fashionable, well-off young woman of New York; and the cruel realities of the slaughterhouse. The dreams of all these people reveal the disparities in their positions in life. Beneath the calm and quiet of the entire film lurks an enormous energy, like an immense poem floating amidst the affairs of the world.

Director’s Statement by HO, Chao-ti

Five years ago I started filming stories about clothes and shoes. As fate would have it, I visited a production line for brand-name high-heeled shoes. I discovered that making a pair of shoes is really complicated, and involves materials from many different places. At the time I thought, if I traced further and further upstream from this production line, what would I see? And where would my search for these people lead me? On the other hand, if I explored the downstream end of this production line, whose feet would ultimately wear these beautiful shoes? From upstream to downstream, how different would be the dreams that each of these people have?

So it was that I started to search for the main characters of this story, and also to ask them what their dreams were. This was a wholly unforgettable experience. From extreme poverty to extreme affluence, I saw disparities in this world that truly make a person sigh.

About the Director and Awards

About the Director

HO Chao-ti is an independent producer and director. She also works at CNEX Foundation Taipei office as Production Director. For several years she has made films centered on marginalized communities and non-mainstream issues, such as the impact of globalization and contemporary cultural hybridity.

Due to her unique vision, HO Chao-ti’s works have been featured in film festivals round the world, receiving numerous awards. With a rich and complex cinematic vocabulary, her films, distinguished by their artistic expression, have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In recent years she has released a series of documentaries on international issues, to wide acclaim.


The Columbus International Film and Video Festival
 – The Chris Awards – Honorable Mention
Montana CINE Film Festival – Honorable Mention
Taipei Film Festival – Special Jury Award
Champion, Shorts, 2011 Chinese Documentary Festival in Hong Kong
Japan Wildlife Film Festival 2011, Outstanding Message Award
Golden Harvest Award of Excellence, Taiwan

Officially Selected –
MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, NYC, US
I’ve Seen Films International Film Festival、
Green Screen International Wildlife Film Festival in Germany、
New York festivals- International Television & Film Awards、
Vesoul International Film Festival、
International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul、
Guangzhou International Documentary Festival, China
Chinese Documentary Festival, Hong Kong
Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival
Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taiwan
Kaouhsiung Film Festival, Taiwan
South Taiwan Film & Video Festival
Yilan Green International Film Festival, Taiwan
Shanghai Mecooon Film Festival, China


-  My Fancy High Heels, 2010
-        Wandering Island, six documentaries series,
- Bras, 2009
- Dresses, 2009
- Designers, 2009
- Blue Jeans, 2009
- Shoes, 2009
- El Salvador Journal, 2009
- The Gangster’s God, 2006.
-  Mouth of a Volcano, 2006.
-  Cockroach Confidential, 2005.
-  Squeezebox on the Road, 2003.
-  County Road 184, 2001.

Director's Filmography

HO, Chao-ti - Filmography

-         Wandering Island, six documentaries series,
- Bras, 2009
- Dresses, 2009
- Designers, 2009
- Blue Jeans, 2009
- Shoes, 2009
- El Salvador Journal, 2009
-  The Gangster’s God, 2006.
-  Mouth of a Volcano, 2006.
-  Cockroach Confidential, 2005.
-  Squeezebox on the Road, 2003.
-  County Road 184, 2001.