New US Trailer for 'The Witches of the Orient' Vintage Volleyball Doc
"I really didn't think these girls could win." KimStim Films has unveiled a new official US trailer for the acclaimed indie documentary titled The Witches of the Orient, the latest feature from French filmmaker Julien Faraut follow his other cult hit sports doc John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection. This sports history doc film tells the story of the 1964 Japanese Olympic volleyball team, referred to at the time as the "Oriental Witches." It's a remarkably unique and empowering story about a group of women from Japan in the 1950s, still reeling and recovering following WWII, who came together and worked incredibly hard to become the best volleyball team in the world. Of course their biggest competitor was Russia, but it all lead to a triumphant victory at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. I saw this doc at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year and it's a very unique film - I wrote in my Letterboxd review: "the whole film goes against the grain of what a typical sports history doc should be." Recommending this one to any & all sports fans and doc lovers.
Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Julien Faraut's doc The Witches of the Orient, from YouTube:
How does a Japanese women's volleyball team from the 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, 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 emphasized speed and aggression. A record-setting winning streak and then a dramatic 1964 Tokyo Olympics triumph follow. Wonderful archival footage of the women in training and on the court, animation of their championship games, and moving interviews with the women today are set to a pulsating electronic score. The Witches of the Orient, also known as Les sorcières de l'Orient in French, is directed by French filmmaker Julien Faraut, of docs New Regard About Olympia 52 and John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection previously. This originally premiered at the 2021 Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year. Film Forum will debut The Witches of the Orient in select US theaters starting on July 9th this summer. For more info, visit their site.