Crab Cannery Ship, The
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Crab Cannery Ship, The

General info
Original title: Kanikosen (蟹工船)
Country: Japan
Year: 2009
IMDB Rating: 6.1 99 votes
Plot: Kanikosen is a giant crab cannery boat crisscrossing the Sea of Okhotsk in search of greater and greater quantities of shellfish. The ship is equipped with a cannery facility and workers who forced to labor under pitiful conditions at minimum wages under the stern pressure of Asakawa-san, the factory superintendent who even does not treat them as human beings. Sometime in the past they were tempted by suggestive leaflets promising a very good salary. In the realty it turned out to be a slave labour, without any possibility to get out. The only way out they see is to commit suicide to reincarnate in a good rich family. However there is a a man who refuses to just lament the fate, and try to take things into their own hands and begin to live here and now.

  • Adapted for the screen from Takiji Kobayashi's 1929 classic of proletarian literature, Kanikosen is the story of a workers' strike aboard a cannery ship on the northern Sea of Japan. In 2008, Kanikosen awoke from decades of canonical slumber, to become an unexpected best-seller, with Japanese sales rocketing from a long-standing average of 5,000, to over 500,000 copies in a single year, not including figures for its four different manga adaptations.
  • The movie was shown at film festivals in Pusan (October, 2009), Berlinale (February, 2010), Hong Kong (March, 2010)
Movie info
Language: Japanese
Colormode: Color
Running time: 109

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Crab Cannery Ship, The (Kanikosen) trailer

Tags: Crab Cannery Ship, Kanikosen, 2009, Japanese movies, Action movies, Adventure movies, Drama movies, asian movies

Featured reviews for

Crab Cannery Ship, The
(overall rating: 3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews)
Meniscus Magazine By Christopher Bourne source:
«Sabu makes brilliant use of his source material, retaining the agitprop elements of the novel to deliver a truly exhilarating and rousing film. “Kanikosen” is much more structurally sound than most of his other films; as inventive as many of his original scenarios are, they have a tendency to run out of steam at a certain point and become repetitious.»
Midnight Eye, by M.Downing Roberts source:
«For Kobayashi, one of the primary aims of his literary art was to convey a more profound understanding of this social structure - not the what, but the why of it - beyond mystifications such as "the nation" or "the people". What Sabu's adaptation of Kanikosen implicitly asks us to think about, then, is the manner and mode in which a film about political conflict can speak to a depoliticized audience, and the role it plays in expanding our sense of "the art of the possible".»
Variety, by Ronnie Sheib source:
«In contrast to his usual black comedies, Sabu here essays static, claustrophobic setpieces with a deliberately dated frame of reference, complete with utopian vision of Russian egalitarianism. Validating the novel's message yet maintaining an absurdist distance from it, "Kanikosen" plays more as exercise than drama, with limited non-Nipponese appeal.», by LEO GOLDSMITH source:
«But amid the drudgery of assembly-line crab-canning, and even with occasional outbursts of paper-thin proletarian solidarity, none of these bizarre tonal shifts manages to liven the film up much. For one thing, despite occasional touches of digital panache, expressive lighting, and odd camera angles, the film is rather lacking in visual inventiveness. »
Strictly Film School, by acquarello source:
«Polarized to the point of caricature but without the impassioned execution of agitprop, and evading correlation between the economic expansion of an Industrial Revolution created in the midst of increasing totalitarianism with the realities of an Asian tiger-fueled new global economy, Kanikosen ultimately struggles to offer more than well crafted imagery, paradoxically creating an estranged and complacent call to arms.»
The Hollywood Reporter, by Maggie Lee source:
«Imagine "Titanic" only with scenes in the steerage. That's the bleak and claustrophobic experience "Kanikosen" offers to make sense of the oppression and inevitable uprising of workers on a crab cannery ship in Imperialist Japan. ... Think remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty" using "Dogville" as an aesthetic blueprint. »
Heroic Cinema, by Elizabeth Kerr - 7/10 source:
«In Kanikosen, Sabu is working in a post-modern, almost Brechtian, tone that's far removed from the bonkers, high-octane kinetics of his earlier films. To a degree marrying the two aesthetics serves him well. The grandiosity of the crew's final assault on their exploiters, the mass suicide gone awry and the careful shot compositions are instances where the right amount of absurdity draws attention to the underlying angry message and highlight the delicate balance Sabu has managed to strike between stagy and silly.»
Slant Magazine, by ED GONZALEZ - 2/4 source:ôsen/4437
«Suggesting a half-cocked adaptation of Metropolis by Stephen Chow, Kanikosken becomes notable only for not going far enough.»
World Socialist Web Site, Interview with director Sabu source:
«Sabu: The first film from the 1950s is a very political film and very close to the original novel, whereas I wanted to make a film closer to daily life. I also wanted to make a film that would attract many people to come to the cinema, so it had to be a bit more entertaining. I wanted to reach out to people and in that sense make it more ordinary and less political.»

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Tanaka, HiroyukiTANAKA Hiroyuki
Kobayashi, TakijiKOBAYASHI Takiji
MORI Takashi
IMJ Entertainment


Matsuda, RyuheiMATSUDA Ryuhei
as Shinjo
Nishijima, HidetoshiNISHIJIMA Hidetoshi
as Asakawa
Kora, KengoKORA Kengo
as Nemoto
Arai, HirofumiARAI Hirofumi
as Shioda
Emoto, TokioEMOTO Tokio
as Shimizu
Kinoshita, TakayukiKINOSHITA Takayuki
as Kume
Kimoto, TakehiroKIMOTO Takehiro
as Yagi
Miura, MasakiMIURA Masaki
as Kobori
Takezai, TerunosukeTAKEZAI Terunosuke
as Hatanaka
Rijû, GôRIJÛ Gô
as Ishiba
Shimizu, YutakaSHIMIZU Yutaka
as Kida
Yamamoto, HiroshiYAMAMOTO Hiroshi
as Yamaji
Takaya, MotofumiTAKAYA Motofumi
as Miyaguchi
Minagawa, SarutokiMINAGAWA Sarutoki
Yajima, KenichiYAJIMA Kenichi
as Executive
Miyamoto, TaiseiMIYAMOTO Taisei
as Ship master
Tezuka, ToruTEZUKA Toru
as Chinaman
Nakamura, YasuhiNAKAMURA Yasuhi
as Radio engineer
Nomaguchi, TôruNOMAGUCHI Tôru
Takayama, YuyaTAKAYAMA Yuya
Osugi, RenOSUGI Ren
as Shimizu's father
Okunuki, KaoruOKUNUKI Kaoru
as Shimizu's mother
Tanimura, MitsukiTANIMURA Mitsuki
as Miyoko
Uchida, ShungikuUCHIDA Shungiku
as Kume's wife
as Monk
Takizawa, RyokoTAKIZAWA Ryoko
as Ishiba's wife
TAKITO Kenichi
as Kawazu
as Koike
HÔTÔ Rikimaru
as Otaki
as Russian
as Russian
Sugata, ShunSUGATA Shun
Morimoto, LeoMORIMOTO Leo

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