The punk genre fits Brixton like a glove, so it was no wonder that The Ritzy’s THE PUNK SYNDROME Q&A sold out on Saturday. Following the exploits of Finland’s most kick-ass band, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, the filmmakers have captured all the classic highs and lows of group life over two years, with one big difference: all four band members have learning disabilities. Balancing life in a group home with gigs, band practice and much-dreaded pedicure appointments, the film fizzes with humour, humanity, and most of all attitude. Whether it’s dealing with Pertti’s regular fits of rage or Sami’s political passions, the documentary never falls into voyeurism, but rather spends time conveying each band member’s personality and ambitions.
An introduction by the nice peeps from Musicfilmweb perfectly summed up the appeal of such features over bigger industry names, stating simply, “These are the documentaries that show you a world you wouldn’t normally see.” The distributor, November Films, gave heartfelt thanks to all in attendance at what was only the film’s second UK screening, confessing that they had taken out a loan in order to be able to release it, such was their passion for the project. The band themselves were unfortunately unable to make it to our shores, but they had taken the time to film an exclusive interview in Helsinki in which they dissected the filming process, touring and, more importantly, which band member stinks the most.
The film over, the audience gave their applause, and all were looking forward to the release of a limited-edition seven-inch gatefold DVD next month. Guaranteed to be one of the most engaging and enlightening documentaries of the year, THE PUNK SYNDROME is a must-see for all you music lovers.
Sam Walker-Smart, Ritzy staff member