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The Witches of the Orient (2021)

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Opening at July 9, 2021 on Film Forum and July 16 in theaters

“Les sorcières de l’Orient”

Documentary, Sport

The Witches of the Orient is documentary film directed and written by Julien Faraut. The film primiered at February 5, 2021 on International Film Festival Rotterdam.

How does a Japanese women’s volleyball team from the late 1950s become an international sensation, feminist role models, the subject of a wildly popular comic book, and a still-influential anime? This stranger-than-fiction story is dynamically told by Julien Faraut (John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection), with an ironic twist on the original demeaning moniker, Oriental Witches. A group of Osaka textile workers is transformed into a fiercely competitive volleyball team by their astonishingly ruthless coach whose unconventional techniques emphasize speed and aggression.

A record-setting winning streak and a dramatic 1964 Tokyo Olympics triumph follow. Wonderful archival footage of the women in training and on the court, animated versions of their championship games, and moving interviews with the women today are set to a pulsating electronic score. [FilmForum]

Director: Julien Faraut

Writer: Julien Faraut

Stars: Hirofumi Daimatsu, Yuko Fujimoto, Yuriko Handa, Sata Isobe, Masae Kasai, Maseko Kondo, Katsumi Matsumura, Yoshiko Matsumura, Emiko Miyamoto, Setsuko Sasaki, Ayano Shibuki, Yoko Shinozaki, Kinuko Tanida

►Cast

Hirofumi DaimatsuJapanese Volleyball Coach
Yuko FujimotoJapanese Volleyball Player
Yuriko HandaJapanese Volleyball Player
Sata IsobeJapanese Volleyball Player
Masae KasaiJapanese Volleyball Player
Maseko KondoJapanese Volleyball Player
Katsumi MatsumuraJapanese Volleyball Player
Yoshiko MatsumuraJapanese Volleyball Player
Emiko MiyamotoJapanese Volleyball Player
Setsuko SasakiJapanese Volleyball Player
Ayano ShibukiJapanese Volleyball Player
Yoko ShinozakiJapanese Volleyball Player
Kinuko TanidaJapanese Volleyball Player

( Read more cast details on imdb )

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