The Witches of the Orient / Les Sorcières de l'Orient (2021)

  • 2021
  • UK Premiere
  • 1h 40m
  • France

Known as the ‘Witches of the Orient’ because of their seemingly supernatural powers on the court, the former players of the Japanese women’s volleyball team, all now in their 70s, reunite to eat, talk, and share their memories. Telling a remarkable story, The Witches of the Orient spans from the squad’s beginnings – founded in the late 1950s as a worker’s team at a textile factory – to their triumph at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which followed a record 258 successive wins that remains unbeaten to this day. Their popularity resulted in the creation of manga characters, cartoons, and anime series – all based on the team. The second feature from filmmaker Julien Faraut reworks many of these sources, splicing them together alongside some standout sequences in which extreme training routines and tense matches are energised by rhythmic editing, and a lively soundtrack from French musicians K-Raw.

Watch the live Q&A here on Wednesday 9 June at 22:15 BST

Our biggest Jury is you - the audience! Go to and enter the voting code df21on to rate this film.


Japanese, Russian, French, English