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The Mistery of Flying Kicks

A brilliant "collabortaivo short-doc" about the urban mystery of sneakers hanging from overhead power lines.

10 – 15 | 2010 | Australia | Documentary | Mixed Media | Urban

We saw them on the street, in the most diverse cities in the world, in movies, music videos, maybe someone has even dreamed of them. Every time we noticed a pair of sneakers hanging from the wires of the light, we probably asked ourselves the same questions to which other thousand people before us tried to answer: why are they hanging up there? Who threw them? When? For what reason?

These are the ‘secrets’ that led Matthew Bate to realize this “collaborative documentary”. This short is sort of an experiment, an attempt to uncover the mystery behind this urban phenomenon through interviews with “experts”, people met on the street and anonymous informants who have left their stories on an hotline specifically set up for the making of the film.

The result is as interesting as it is inconclusive. The stories of the various subjects are picturesque and varied: some claim it’s related to the loss of virginity, others  connect them to gang fights, drug dealing areas, marking the territory by local bullies, or even as signals of understanding between the mafia and the police. Other link the phenomenon to citizens  who are fed up with the decay of some urban areas, who attempt to underline the city’s disorder by putting something that should be on the ground right up in the air. There are even bizarre cases such as the ‘Shoe Patrol‘ of Minneapolis, a group of people who stand up the criminals in the area by taking off the sneakers from the wires. Also featured is the street artists collective Skewville,  famous for having created thousands of fake wooden sneakers and then hanging then symbolically around the world.

There seems to be no actual solution to the mystery of Shoefiti, perhaps the only truth lies in mankind’s  innate need to leave a mark, to be part of the collective memory,  hence becoming ” immortal”. Leaving your shoes in plain sight, making a graffiti on a wall, are similar ways to prove ourselves (and to others) that we exist and to leave a testimony of this existence .

Brilliant and absolutely unique, this short film was made possible thanks to the contribution of telephone messages, videos, photographs , vlogs found and sent in from all over the world. Many of the ‘phone calls’ are illustrated by animations created by international artists. The short film was presented at SXSW and has become a small cult in no time.


Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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