“Robberies, shootings, fights, burglaries, weed plantations.” Jose sums up life in his neighborhood in the southern part of Rotterdam. He longs to ride with the notorious stunt bike group known as Team Domina on their illegal “ride-outs” through the city. There are sometimes more than 100 riders, doing extended wheelies and other stunts amid the busy traffic. The riders set off from the southern suburbs and head for the wealthier north bank of the river. In a ride-out, the kids from the south manage to get themselves seen by the northerners—but also by the police, who crack down on their dangerous stunt riding.
Jose gives his own wheelie skills a seven out of ten. He keeps practicing, falling off and getting up again with admirable perseverance. “There’s no such thing as ‘you can’t do that,’” he says determinedly. With beautiful camerawork and an effective use of dramatic stylistic devices like slow motion and epic music, 180CC tells the coming-of-age story of a vulnerable and charismatic young man. Growing up hurts.