The Punk Syndrome

Director Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi
Finland / 85 min. / 2012 / Finnish; English

Four disabled Finns form a punk band. They call it Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät: they fight, drink coffee and bitch about going to the chiropodist. A hardcore but affectionate homage to “abnormality” that doubles up as a reflection on respect and justice.


Available at IN-EDIT TV


A disturbing start. A punk group made up of four mentally handicapped Finns. It’s called Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät:  they fight, bawl, drink coffee and bitch about going to the chiropodist, and after their concerts they return to the centre. They’re not bipolar, nor schizophrenic, in the way we’re accustomed to seeing in rock’n’roll documentaries. We’re not talking about Roky Erickson or Daniel Johnston, but of patients with severe, innate mental disabilities that, despite their difficulties, wish to express their worries, desires, and affections. Despite the rawness of its images, The Punk Syndrome is a warm tribute to “abnormality”, and a simultaneous reflection on respect and social justice. Claustrophobic at times, the film examines what happens on the other side of the mental health mirror: tensions between members (their disabilities range in severity), falling in love, physical tics, uncontrollable creative processes (writing a lyric takes considerably more than it would in a common-garden rock environment)… And, nevertheless, their sincerity and capacity for analysis (“You’re not normal/You’re abnormal”, as one song states) transcend the walls of their limitations, turning them into inspirations. 


The Punk Syndrome was directed by the Finnish directors Jukka Kärkkäinen and Passi JP. The film won the Audience Prize at the 2012 Tampere Film Festival.




Showing format

in festivals
Hot docs; Visions du Reel; Sheffield Doc/Fest

Pertti Kurikka; Kari Aalto; Sami Helle; Toni Välitalo

Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi, Sami Jahnukainen

Riita Poikselkä

Sami Jahnukainen

Film company
Mouka Filmi

Film distributor
Autlook Filmsales GmbH

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