No doubt you’ve heard of the Juggalos—the wild fanbase of face-painted American rappers Insane Clown Posse, whose fans (it’s estimated) number well over a million. Once a year this disparate group convene in Ohio for the Gathering of the Juggalos, a festival of fire-spinning, smoke breathing, and bare fist fighting, accompanied by a soundtrack from ICP’s label, Psycopathic.
Enter Joshua Gordon, director of underground hit Krahang, which dropped on Dazed earlier this year. Gordon, an obsessive documentarian of extreme communities and fanbases, has “been interested in Juggalos since I was a little kid,” as he explained to NOWNESS. It made absolute sense, then, for Gordon to attend the much talked about annual gathering in order to dispel some myths about this daunting and seemingly diabolical community. What he walked away with was a strangely warm and tender portrait of a group that has been classified as a gang by the FBI.
Speaking about his time spent with this compellingly clownish community, the Irish-born director explains: “They’re a diehard community with a strong presence online and a very unique personal style. I’ve seen a number of short films on them but always found them a bit bland and obvious,” continues the London-based filmmaker, “so I wanted to meet some of them and make a film about them in my own style, something more tender and less sensationalist.
“My idea was to make more of a moving photo book then a traditional documentary, and to film it, direct it and do the sound on my own so I could make a more natural connection with the jugallos and jugalettes, just hang out with them for a week and see what they’re about.”