3 user 25 critic

The Punk Syndrome (2012)

Kovasikajuttu (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy, Drama | 4 May 2012 (Finland)
1:59 | Clip
A Finnish punk-rock band formed by four mentally disabled guys.


Jukka Kärkkäinen, Jani-Petteri Passi (as J-P Passi)


Jukka Kärkkäinen, Jani-Petteri Passi (as J-P Passi) | 2 more credits »
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Pertti Kurikka Pertti Kurikka ... Self
Kari Aalto Kari Aalto ... Self
Sami Helle Sami Helle ... Self
Toni Välitalo Toni Välitalo ... Self
Kalle Pajamaa Kalle Pajamaa ... Self
Kyösti Välitalo Kyösti Välitalo ... Self
Aira Välitalo Aira Välitalo ... Self
Sirkka Leikola Sirkka Leikola ... Self
Jari Nordström Jari Nordström ... Self
Niila Suoranta Niila Suoranta ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ahti Aalto Ahti Aalto ... Self
Markku Aalto Markku Aalto ... Self
Pentti Arajärvi ... Self
Tarja Halonen Tarja Halonen ... Self
Satu Heikkilä Satu Heikkilä ... Self
Learn more

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A Finnish punk-rock band formed by four mentally disabled guys.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Can you go onstage with shit in your pants? See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Followed by The Punk Voyage (2017) See more »

User Reviews

"I think everyone has the right to make a decision about where and how they would like to live."
2 September 2018 | by erskine-bridgeSee all my reviews

This documentary film follows a Finnish punk rock band whose members have a love-hate relationship with the world and with each other. We see them bickering at rehearsals, tired and strung-out on the tour bus and pumped up after a triumphant gig. Pretty standard fare you might imagine. What gives The Punk Syndrome its unique edge, however, is that each of the four band-mates has a developmental disability which finds them in a supported living arrangement in a group home. Using a cinéma vérité style, devoid of commentary or context-setting captions, the lives of the four band members are slowly revealed to us in a thoughtful, sensitive and non-judgemental way. We find that, like anyone drawn to punk anywhere, the band, particularly main songwriter Pertti, use punk rock music as an outlet for their frustrations and anger at a world that sidelines and ignores them. Pertti fills his journal with his observations on life and these are transformed seamlessly into powerful, honest lyrics which fit neatly into punk rock's classic recurring themes; discrimination for being different, the dull condescension of the "normal" world, the lack of dignity, equality and respect for those who don't or can't quietly conform.

The actual music of the band is classic rudimentary punk - think early Ramones - but effectively arranged and performed. We also get a glimpse into the lives of each of the band members outside of music and it is these parts of the film which are the most emotionally hard-hitting. The scenes with the sweet-natured drummer, Toni, are particularly effective - we watch as his aging parents gently try to confront him with the fact that one day they will die and not be there to support him, and we see his unrequited love for a woman who loves another. The scene where Pertti explains to the band's friend/manager that he didn't attend his own mother's funeral as no-one thought it was important to invite him is also deeply tinged with sadness, hurt and anger.

Despite these moments, this film never descends into weepy-eyed hand-wringing over the lives of its subjects. The directors keep the tone generally upbeat and energetic and there is lots of humour in the band member's brutally honest but likable personalities. To sum up - The Punk Syndrome manages to be funny and poignant and respectful to its subjects whilst making a powerful case for the liberating power of punk rock music.

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Finland | Norway | Sweden



Release Date:

4 May 2012 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Punk Syndrome See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


EUR289,900 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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