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KANIKOSEN

Japan, 2009 (MIFF 2010, Neighbourhood Watch)

Director: Sabu

“Think remake of Mutiny on the Bounty using Dogville as an aesthetic blueprint.” - Hollywood Reporter

Japan's recent economic recession has fuelled the revival of left-wing dissident Takiji Kobayashi's 1929 novel Kanikôsen. This remade film version from director Sabu comes as a calls-to-arms, although it trades on anti-establishment, stylised ‘cool' and cheeky asides rather than riffing on well-worn diatribe.

Within the Metropolis-like confines of a crab canning ship, during Japan's Imperialist era, downtrodden worker Shinjo stumbles into the role of union leader as he and his comrades struggle against their capitalist superiors. Large, mechanised cogs reminiscent of Chaplin's Modern Times dominate a highly theatrical set design. Even the most serious sentiments come obscured with slapstick.

“A men's film, a war film, a socialist agitprop film, [and] a modern dance film with kozachok interludes.” - Berlin Film Festival

D/S Sabu P Yasushi Utagawa, Ryosuke Mameoka, Keigo Tanabe WS Finecut L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2009

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