Award-winning documentary tells the tale of Japan’s greatest women’s volleyball team

Buzz, Film

A film depicting the legendary women’s volleyball team of Japan is the perfect warm-up to this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

On July 14th, Bertha DocHouse will premiere the award-winning Witches of the Orient at the Curzon Bloomsbury Cinema in London

In the film, viewers will meet the former players of the Japanese women’s volleyball team, known as the Witches of the Orient for their seemingly supernatural powers on the courts – including a staggering 258-match winning streak.

Now in their 70s, they reunite around a dinner table, sifting through the facts and fables of their careers – from the early days as a workers’ team at a textile factory in Osaka up to their triumph at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Director Julien Faraut (‘John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection’), the maverick new master of the archive sports doc, has created a mesmerising portrait of ‘The Witches’.

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Description automatically generatedStriking 16mm colour reels of the team in training complements previously unseen match footage, which Faraut splices with a montage of vintage manga and anime of the team, all set to a rhythmic original score.

The special preview screening will be followed by an exclusive pre-recorded discussion hosted by Edith Bowman with the director, manga expert Paul Gravett and Maria Bertelli, British volleyball player at London 2012 and England volleyball coach.

Watch the trailer and buy tickets for the premiere at the Dochouse website