Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät are a punk group from Finland made up of Pertti, Kari, Toni and Sami, four mentally handicapped men who live together in a group home. Together, they make raw and uncompromising music about the challenges they face, from going to the pedicurist to the preconceptions of mainstream society. The Punk Syndrome is a film about the essence of punk rock – a highly nuanced character study in which its protagonists laugh, cry, drink and fight over who gets to sit at the front of the tour bus.
Don’t stare! And don’t point your finger at them. I’m sure these instructions are ingrained in many of our minds. Despite that, I hope our film looks closely at the people in it, and even stares and points a finger at them. And maybe even finds the human side that we all have inside us. I hope our film provokes new thoughts, questions and moods and not merely tells a story. I don’t know if our film succeeds in doing that, but I do know that the band, Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day, will. The film is a weird, comical and disturbing combination of joy, enthusiasm, compassion, pity, envy and a whole lot of other emotions.
These musicians are thoroughly honest; they’ll say what they think and show how they feel, no matter what. In their world the lowest feeling or act is rather harmless, after all. I once heard a beautiful thought: ‘There are people whose meaning we don’t know.’ I hope that our film will show people that these people shouldn’t be thought of as defective or inadequate, but rather as individual and complete human beings. I’d like the audience to see them as people who lack certain knowledge and skills but also lack the ability to act destructively against other people. I think that this is also their meaning.
J-P Passi, Co-director