They are a visible force in many urban centres, dressing in a very laid-back way, gentrifying neighborhoods, and selling things like craft beer, organic coffee and fair trade chocolate. But just who are “hipsters?” And, what’s behind their deliberate drive to forge new places to live and new ways to work?

In Hipster Handbook, British social commentator Peter York takes us on a voyage of discovery into the world of the new urban bohemian. It’s where the latest in ultra cool meets a vision of a romantic past. It’s all about rejecting modern corporate life and looking decidedly casual — even if the look seems carefully constructed with knit hats, plaid shirts, bushy beards and the like.

SCENE FROM THE FILM: Understanding the allure of 'The Lumberjack'

Travelling to both London and the birthplace of the hipster, New York, the film delves into the complexity of what it means to be authentic versus inauthentic today. And it explores how hipsters could be shaking up modern life. While they aren’t threatening anyone, they just might be challenging some people’s assumptions on how life should be lived.

The film also examines the roots of the hipster movement and the backlash by people opposed to - or excluded from - the resulting economic and social upheaval. The film also shines an unsparing light on how mainstream corporate culture is now paying very close attention to the hipster vibe, catching on and cashing in.

Credits (Click to expand)

Presented by

Peter York


AP Archive/British Movietone News

BBC Archive

Getty Images

Kino Library

Rex Features



Mara Catalan

Ted Hardin New

York Magazine


Vanessa Vargo

Dubbing Mixer

Luke Williams

Online Editor

David Grewal

Post Production Facility


Post Producer

Genna McWhinnie


Emily Downes

Junior Researcher

Hila Mayvand

Additional Camera

Anju Passi

Archive Researcher

Thomas Lewton

Assistant Producer

Ed Fenwick

Director of Production

Naomi Carter

Legal and Business Affairs Manager

Vesna Milankovic

Head of Production

Katie Boston

Production Manager

Lisa O’Brien

Offline Editor

Jane Harris

Ian Strang

Creative Director

Mark Roberts

Executive Producer for BBC

Emma Cahusac

Executive Producer for Moore Television

Geoff Moore

Director of Programmes

Tayte Simpson

Produced, Directed and Filmed by

Graham Strong

A Mentorn Media Production in Association with Moore Television For BBC