Film about human towers to show at Whitman College

A local man who has been part of human towers since he was 3 will show a film Wednesday on the feats of athletics and architecture.



An eight-level human pillar towers above a crowd in Spain. A local man's documentary on the towers will be shown Wednesday at Whitman College.

WALLA WALLA -- Now a Walla Walla resident, Felix Miret-Rovira is a long way from his previous home in the Catalonia region of Spain. But Miret-Rovira is looking to share an unusual slice of life from his home region through a documentary film to be shown Wednesday at Whitman College.

The free screening of "Castellers del Mn," or "Human Towers of the World," begins at 7 p.m. in Olin Hall 130. The film will explore towers that are constructed by humans standing on one another's shoulders, a phenomenon also shared in two other countries.

Miret-Rovira said he had the original idea for the film, and produced the parts that take place in the Catalonia region of Spain and in India. The film was produced over two years as the film crew adjusted to local festivals and features the world record human tower.

The film captures images of human tower festivals from Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, Marrakech, Morroco, and Mumbai, India.

Miret-Rovira represents the Catalonia region as a former native resident and human tower participant. The "Castells," or human castles tradition, is part of the region's history, with 60 teams currently in place that compete weekly. Miret-Rovira is a member of "Castellers de Vilafranca," one of the five biggest teams in Catalonia, he said.

"It is a very strong community event. It is our hobby but still needs a lot of work and dedication," Miret-Rovira said.

Residents practice through the year to construct the towers, which can include more than 1,000 people to form the structure's base and trunk, he said.

Through the project, Miret-Rovira learned residents in Marrakech date their human tower traditions to the 15th century, and incorporate acrobatics and child performers.

Part of the appeal of human tower building, in Miret-Rovira's view, is that the practice spans three continents that represent diverse cultures.

"I love sharing my tradition with others," Miret-Rovira said. "I have been a 'castle' builder since I was 3 years old."

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at or 526-8317. Check out her blog at


"Human Towers of the World," a documentary film, is showing at Whitman College on Wednesday. The documentary is a journey in search of places where the tradition of people climbing onto the shoulders of others to construct human towers is alive and it is integrated in the popular festivities.

This journey begins in Catalonia, then goes to Algemes (Valencia), Marrakesh and villages in the Atlas mountains (Morrocco) and further on to Mumbai (India).

The film runs just under one hour and is in English.

More information about human towers


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