Why does a novel about exploited workers on a crab cannery boat, published 80 years ago by a young communist writer, later tortured to death by the police, become a hot movie property now?

The program for “Kani Kosen” (“The Crab Cannery Boat”) explains that a store poster, inspired by Takiji Kobayashi’s eponymous novel, became a media sensation last year and, before you could say “bubble,” indie veteran Sabu scripted and directed a film.

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