Featured Critic; Brooklyn, New York (@floatingartist)
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Pertti, Toni, Kari and Sami can really put on a great show. They are the members of very popular punk group in Finland, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day). As Kari sings in his guttural voice about the greatness of coffee, their shared disgust for pedicure, politicians and living in group homes, it's hard to resist but to rock out to their catchy tunes. But it's extra hard for these kick ass punk rockers to keep everything together, for they are mentally challenged. They have to, among other things, concentrate on not missing the cue to start playing, watch out for falling pants, try not to soil themselves on stage and remember  taking back their instruments after the show.

They all have very distinctive personalities, so they collide more often than not. Pertti is the composer and lyricist, guitarist and has a peculiar tendency to closely examine people's clothes (for seams). He knows how the babies are made. Emotionally volatile Kari is in love and wants to marry his long time girlfriend. Bossy Sami is deeply involved in politics and living in the same group home as Kari. They get on each other's nerves. Young Toni wants to move out of his parents' and vie for beautiful Liisa's affection in a group home. 

Punk Syndrome presents Pertti Kurikka's Name Day just as they are. Directors J-P Passi and Jukka Karrkkainen wisely decide not to jump in and explain things for us. It's a great slice of life doc about these strong personalities, as they struggle to keep it together everyday. We see their blemishes and shortcomings as well as their genuine love for the music and their all too humanness. Ironically, punk is a fitting music for these outsiders who wants to be accepted and loved. And they rock!

Punk Syndrome
played at Hot Docs 2012 and will also be shown at upcoming Silverdocs Festival on June 19,  10:45pm,  AFI Silver Theatre 3  and June 20, 4:45pm, AFI Silver Theatre 1. For tickets and more information please visit Silverdoc website.

Dustin Chang is a freelance writer. His musings and opinions on the world can be found at

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