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The Punk Syndrome / Kovasikajuttu

Titel / Title Documentary (Finnish + engl. subtitles) 
Label Mouka Filmi 
Total run time
85 min 
Vö/Releasebereits erschienen / already released 
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Another so-called Rockumentary: a band in Close-Up, how they rehearse and create songs, triumph on stage and fight during rehearsals, suffer artistic crises; plus a glimpse of private life, parties, the joy and the agonies of love. Nothing special - or ...?

Well, the band in question named Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (= Pertti Kurikka´s name day) features four members - Pertti, Kari, Toni and Sami - who are not only united by band but also by suffering from Down-Syndrome. Most of the band members are living in a community home for people with special needs, which occasionally causes more frustration - which finds its outlet in lyrics as well as Pertti´s diaries. The camera documents everything without falderal or commentary - the everyday life in community homes, the stress of a pedicure - and mainly how much love and dedication the guys put into their band - Pertti even lost his speech deficiency. However, occasionally you´d wish for an explanation, e.g. how Pertti and social worker Kalle (who also acts as band manager) ended up at the New Year´s Reception of Finland´s former president Tarja Halonen.

Their songs and lyrics are often created on the spot, seem to burst out from the artists - and witnessing this, you even hold your breath... at some point you forget this handicapped-thing anyway and perceive musicians/human beings only, you laugh cry and suffer with them - I can soooo relate to Kari´s discomfort on the ferry, for example... Moreover, their music is a blast - 1-2-3-GO Punk music as it should be, with lyrics that seem to be plain but sometimes totally hit the bulls eye - when they rhyme Päätäjä with Pettäjä / decision makers with fraudsters it displays more than a poetic dimension...

This film achieves something that the guys themselves asked for in a song - being respected, as artists and fellow human beings. Yes, now I deeply respect "Finland´s best Punk Band", I´m a fan and I´d like to see Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät soon live on stage...

PS: The Punk Syndrome has won the main prize of Films on Art Competition Programme in T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in Poland and was awarded with the Special Prize Swiss Post for the most innovative Feature Film at Visions du Réel festival.

Klaudia Weber

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