The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu)


The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu) (2012)



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Movie Info

The Punk Syndrome is a film about Finland's most kick-ass punk rock band, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. The band members, Pertti, Kari, Toni and Sami, are mentally handicapped and they play their music with a lot of attitude and pride. We follow these professional musicians on their journey from obscurity to popularity. We watch them fight, fall in love and experience strong emotions. We witness long days in the recording studio and on tour. They laugh, cry, drink and fight over who gets to sit in the front on the tour bus. Then it's time to make up and go talk to people in the audience and tell them how great their band is. This film about the essence of punk. It's a story of handicapped people rebelling against the mainstream. This time you're allowed to stare and wonder why they act the way they do. And you'll fall in love with them as you watch how the most kick-ass punk band in Finland conquers the world.

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Critic Reviews for The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu)

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (2)

This likable documentary about a Finnish punk band whose members are all middle-aged men with learning disabilities opens a window on to another world.

Jan 31, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

[A] funny, edgy and very human feature ...

May 8, 2012
Top Critic

A compelling and often brutally direct documentary that confronts attitudes towards mental disability through an inspiring group of punk rockers.

Feb 7, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Fun, light-hearted and proof that disability is no barrier to musical success, but it could have benefited from a little more background on the band members.

Dec 13, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4

It's a sketchy and raggedy film, but like punk music, it probably would have been spoiled if it were smoothed out.

Dec 5, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

What shines through most strongly ... is both the sense of camaraderie and the personal benefits each band member takes from the experience.

Feb 4, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Punk Syndrome (Kovasikajuttu)

I saw this at the 2013 Cleveland International Film Festival. The Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät deals with many of the same issues other bands face. Pertti Kurikka, the namesake of the band, is the lead guitarist and main songwriter for the group. Kari is the singer. Sami is the bassist. And Toni is the drummer. The punk rock attitude is a great fit for these four men with mental handicaps, who just want to be treated with dignity and respect. Pertti shares some sad stories from his past and talks about some of his emotional challenges. Kari sings a great song in the recording studio about his hate for pedicurists and seeks some freedom over his own actions, especially when spending time with his girlfriend. Sami is interested in politics and seems to constantly, but accidentally, have a way of irritating both Pertti and Kari. Toni, the youngest of the group and the quietest, deals with the prospect of moving out of his parents' home for a group home and a broken heart. We see their manager Kalle as he assists them professional and tries to be there personally for them too. We witness rehearsals, recording sessions, tours, concerts, and a bit of each of their personal lives through the moment they experience the triumph of releasing their first album. Punk lyrics are often growled and yelled so rapidly that it can be hard to catch them all in any language, so it was a blessing to have subtitles, which only increased my appreciation of their music.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

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