LAST TRUE PUNK BAND Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät

The Punk Syndrome (Documentary)


A mentally challenged punk band is the unusual subject of the unusually thoughtful "The Punk Syndrome." Focusing on the handicapped head-bangers who make up the Finnish band Pertti Kurikka's Name Day, this thin-ice-treading docu opensa window onto alternative culture, human nature and the very narrow line between so-called normal people and those on the fringe. 



Proper marketing could take Jukka Karkkainen and J-P Passi's funny, edgy and very human feature into cult-hit territory, although the subject and subtitles will provide built-in limitations for this low-budget, rock-fueled verite movie.


The film gives us a peek into the lives of four men with developmental disabilities who also happen to be in a punk band. They are Pertti, the band’s guitarist; Kari, the band’s singer; Sami, the band’s bassist; and Toni, the band’s drummer. And they are wonderful, complex people with a deep desire to be taken seriously and treated like they matter.

The band's chief songwriter, guitarist and namesake, Kurikka, is a sensitive obsessive who has a fixation with seams (as in clothing). He's also a grizzled rocker who weeps easily and pours his heart, soul and problems into his lyrics

 ("Pertti has a speech defect/He can't throw a disco party/Pertti has cerebral palsy/He can't throw a disco party"). His bandmates make up one of the strangest punk groups in Finland, or anywhere. 
Drummer Toni Valitalo and bassist Sami Helle have Down syndrome; vocalist Kari Aalto is also mentally disabled and has ferocious rage issues, most of them directed at Helle, a politically conservative NGO activist who in one sequence puts a good-looking Finnish pol on the spot (she acquits herself gracefully)


 the punk syndromw (2012)

MORE ABOUT FILM