The Punk Syndrome

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The Punk Syndrome
A poster featuring two members of the band sitting in front of black and white gig promotional posters.
Official poster
Directed byJukka Kärkkäinen,
J-P Passi
Produced bySami Jahnukainen/Mouka Filmi
Written byJukka Kärkkäinen,
J-P Passi,
Sami Jahnukainen
StarringPertti Kurikka
Kari Aalto
Sami Helle
Toni Välitalo
CinematographyJ-P Passi
Edited byRiitta Poikselkä
Release date
  • 21 April 2012 (2012-04-21)
Running time
85 minutes
The band members celebrate the film winning the Jussi Award for the best documentary in 2013.

The Punk Syndrome is a film about Finnish punk rock band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. Its original Finnish title is Kovasikajuttu. The film is directed by Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi and premiered in cinemas in Finland on 4 May 2012. It was pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest's 2010 MeetMarket prior to completion.


The Punk Syndrome follows a Finnish punk rock band whose members all are developmentally disabled, living with autism and Down syndrome. The film employs a cinéma vérité style, meaning it doesn't provide a commentary or explanatory captions to what is seen on screen. The film shows the band members using punk music as an outlet to their frustration with everyday things, such as living in a group home, not being served coffee because of their disability and so on. The film has been said to open a window to the world of the disabled.[1] During the film the band rises from total obscurity to become a small phenomenon and they also get to travel outside Finland. The movie has an upbeat tone and it has been compared to another band documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil.[2]


In Finland, The Punk Syndrome won the Audience Award at Tampere Film Festival in 2012[3] and the Jussi Award for the best documentary film in 2013.[4] It was awarded as the "most innovative feature film" at the Visions du Réel film festival in Switzerland in 2012.[5] In 2013 it also won the audience award in the SXGlobal category at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.[6] In March 2013 the film was awarded a special award for "passionate optimism and upholding the ideals of humanism in life" at the 10th Docudays UA festival in Ukraine.[7]


In Variety John Anderson described The Punk Syndrome as a "funny, edgy and very human feature" which might turn into a cult-hit.[8] In his review in The Observer, Philip French called The Punk Syndrome "a very likable, relaxed film".[9] David Parkinson at Empire magazine gave it three out of five stars calling it "candid and compassionate".[10]


  1. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (31 January 2013). "The Punk Syndrome – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  2. ^ Young, Neil (17 August 2012). "The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu): Wroclaw Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Tampere Film Festival's grand prix went to a Slovakian animation". Tampere Film Festival. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Punk Syndrome picks up state film award". YLE. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Punk Syndrome wins Swiss award". YLE. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Audience Award Winners Announced!". SXSW. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Docudays UA Winners Announce". Docudays UA International Human Rights documentary film festival. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  8. ^ Anderson, John (6 May 2012). "The Punk Syndrome". Variety. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  9. ^ French, Philip (3 February 2013). "The Punk Syndrome – review". The Observer. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  10. ^ Parkinson, David. "The Punk Syndrome". Empire. Retrieved 17 March 2013.

External links[edit]