The Punk Syndrome
The Punk Syndrome follows Finnish punk band Name Day, whose members all suffer from learning difficulties. The documentary judiciously steers clear of talking heads and voice-over exposition – perhaps its greatest success is that at no time does it descend into sentimentality or condescension towards the band.
Essentially, The Punk Syndrome is an expertly crafted rock documentary showing arguments within the band, problems arising before live shows, the rockers over-indulging, and the difficulties of writing new songs. Directors Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi unflinchingly deal with the problems facing people with disabilities. A particularly moving scene depicts drummer Toni being taken to look around a sheltered accommodation unit by his parents, despite Name Day’s biggest song being a reaction against being institutionalised.
One of the best things about The Punk Syndrome is the fact that Name Day make really good punk music. The live performances are a highlight and the audiences’ reactions are fascinating. The crowds are split between those trying their hardest to support the band, those that obviously feel uncomfortable and those that are simply won over by the quality of the tunes.
The Punk Syndrome is a touching film in the tradition of great rock docs, showing the ups and downs of being in a band, but with the addition of looking into the struggle of disabled people.
The Punk Syndrome is released in selected cinemas on February 1st 2013.
Watch the trailer for The Punk Syndrome here: