A 100% Dutch youth subculture. Gabbers, hardcore for life: a great chronicle of identity, power, enthusiasm and extreme youth. Gabbers! Analyzes music (techno at 200 bpm), clubs, rituals, speed, eternal weekends and a dance, the Hakken. A secret world that had consequences.
There was another Gabbers! but fear not, it’s also here. The new Gabbers! takes the 1995 documentary about a unique and 100% Dutch subculture (of Rotterdam, to be precise) and interweaves it with current interviews with veteran fans. They were Gabbers, hardcore for life, and this is a great chronicle on identity, power, enthusiasm and extreme youth. “They called us bald lunatics and drug addicts with crazy tracksuits and ridiculous dances,” one militant affirms. But they weren’t that way out: the gabbers, shaved to a number one, chowing down on speed and pills, clad in belly-baring Aussie tracksuits lived a wild ride. Gabbers! analyzes the music (hardcore techno at 200 bpm), the clubs, the rituals (walking in circles around the dance floor like it was a boulevard) and their dance, the Hakken (athletic yet effeminate and twisting, elbows glued to the body and jumps; rule-less, with infinite variations.). A world that left indelible footprints, judged by adults that still tremble when talking about those weekends, Thursday to Sunday and those “hideous comedowns”, of the electricity and pulsating rhythm and the sensation of belonging to something “What matters was having been there. And we were there. We were Gabbers.” A must-see.
Wim van der Aar is a self-taught Dutch director. He started off with experimental videos and graduated to commercials. Gabbers! is his second documentary, following The Van Waveren Tapes (2012).