This may be another nuts-and-bolts doc about hard-working musicians plugging away on the club circuit, but it is different in a couple of significant ways. Firstly, it features a Finnish punk band, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät. Secondly, all four members of the band have serious learning disabilities – their songs cover topics such as the frustration of living in group homes and how much pedicurists suck. ‘The Punk Syndrome’ follows the band as they play a few gigs, cut a single and indulge in heated disagreements reminiscent of Metallica in ‘Some Kind of Monster’.
Directors Jukka Kärkkäinen and Jani-Petteri Passi do a fine job of introducing these four fiery, conflicting characters, and offering insight into their troubled, restricted lives. Aesthetically, the film is unambitious, relying on TV-standard digital photography with no distinctive touches. But the story is affecting and memorable (if hardly unique – ‘Heavy Load’ covered similar ground back in 2008), and sure to win the band a wider audience. They’re already set to visit the UK this year.