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The Punk Syndrome


The Punk Syndrome is a documentary film about Finnish punk-rock band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day, formed in 2009 by four developmentally disabled men. The film follows the band’s journey from their rehearsal room to cult success. It shows the love and hate between the bandmates, the crying and the laughter, the struggles and the triumphs.


  • The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu): Wroclaw Review - The Hollywood Reporter
    Unusual subject matter and strong personalities elevate Finnish fly-on-the-wall documentary The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu), observing a fractious foursome who don't let various degrees of mental disability stop them from rocking out.

    The engaging debut collaboration by directing duo Jukka Kärkkäinen (2009's The Living Room of the Nation) and J-P Passi (that film's DP) is proving a popular pick at non-fiction and documentary festivals alike, with audiences and juries responding to its no-nonsense treatment of potentially sentimental subject matter.
    Neil Young
  • SXSW Film Reviews: 'The Punk Syndrome'
    The Punk Syndrome succeeds where countless before it have failed: It delivers a heartfelt and earnest feel-good documentary without any manufactured melodrama or beat-you-over-the-head proselytizing. Directors Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi follow the rise of Finnish band Pertti Kurikka's Name Day, a group of four men with developmental disabilities who have built a cult following with their brash, candid punk music. The film consists primarily of intimate shots of the musicians as they experience struggle and triumph on and off the stage, and there's no irritating narration to detract from the pure joy and utter heartbreak we experience alongside them. Like the musicians, the directors aren't afraid to confront the audience with difficult truths, and the camera never shies away during the painful moments. And like the band's songs (e.g., "I need a little respect and dignity in my life"), this film is challenging and breathtaking in its directness. See this film.
    Patrick Courtney
  • The Punk Syndrome - Film Internatinonal
    A poignant, mostly observational documentary about the quartet of disabled musicians, The Punk Syndrome (Kärkkäinen and Passi, 2012) is a prime showcase for the Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day.

Festival Participation

  • SXSW
    Audience Award
  • Visions du Reel
    Special Prize
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest
  • Hot Docs
  • RIDM
  • Yamagata IDFF
    Citizens' Prize

  • Prix Europa for Best TV Documentary 2013

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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