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.