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SXSW Film: These Finnish Rockers Have 'The Punk Syndrome' (Update)

Update: "The Punk Syndrome" won the SXGlobal Audience Award. See pictures from the Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät concert, below.

Original Story  (March 15, 6:01 a.m.): A punk band from Finland is the focus of a film that’s showing at South by Southwest this week. The band is also playing a gig in the SXSW Music festival.

The band is Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivätthat's Pertti Kurikka's Name Day. And the film is “The Punk Syndromecalled that because one special thing about these band members is that they are all mentally disabled in one form or another.

KUT's Laura Rice sat down with the film's director/cinematographer J-P Passi and a couple of members of the band: singer Kari Aalto and bass player Sami Helle.

"We're four guys who are mentally handicapped. But we're still really good," Helle says " ... One thing that I that people always put stamps on me that I am mentally handicapped. That's what I hate because I'm a person, my name is Sami. I'm 40 years-old, male, and I want people to just look at me as a person. Not as what I have."

“The Punk Syndrome” is showing this afternoon at the Alamo Ritz. Pertti Kurikka's Name Day is playing tonight on the patio at Headhunters.

The film is going to be available in the U.S. via video on demand later this year.

Pertti Online.mp3
Click the player to listen to an extended interview.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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