The Punk Syndrome


- FINLAND, NORWAY, SWEDEN / 2012 / Finnish / Color / Blu-ray / 85 min

Directors, Script: Jukka Kärkkäinen, J-P Passi
Script: Sami Jahnukainen
Photography: J-P Passi
Editing: Riitta Poikselkä
Sound: Antti Haikonen, Jukka Kärkkäinen
Dramaturgy: Magnus Gertten
Sound Design: Jørgen Bergsund
Sound Mix: Tormod Ringnes
Music: Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (band)
Producers: Sami Jahnukainen, Mouka Filmi
Co-Producers: Carsten Aanonsen, Magnus Gertten, Lennart Ström, Joakinm Strand
Production Company: Mouka Filmi
World Sales: Autlook Filmsales

This film follows a four-person Finnish punk band made up of Toni, Sami, Pertti and Kari, who live with cognitive disorders. With strength and simplicity, their music expresses a desire for freedom and a rage toward society. They have many punk fans who adore them. The camera gets close to their everyday lives—from band practice, to concert success, to music sales—tracing them to their core. Each member’s individuality and appeal stands out, and is lightheartedly depicted along with the waves of emotion they all share. Looking into the current state of welfare in Finnish society, this film reopens the question—“What is illness?”

[Director’s Statement] “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 Kurikan Nimipäivät (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 would 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

- (From the right)
Jukka Kärkkäinen & J-P Passi

Jukka Kärkkäinen has been making documentary films since 2003. Aside from filmmaking, he has a background as a construction worker. J-P Passi has worked as a cinematographer since 2000. He also directs and works as a scriptwriter every now and then. Kärkkäinen and Passi have worked together since they founded the Mouka Filmi production company. Their works includes Tomorrow Was Yesterday (2009), The Living Room of the Nation (2009), and Do You Still Remember Hilma Limperi (2009).