The Witches of the Orient (2021)
The Witches of the Orient (2021)
The Witches of the Orient © TMS Entertainment (2021)

ACMI presents

The Witches of the Orient

Les Sorcières de l’Orient

Julien Faraut | France | | Unclassified (All Ages)
Film

After John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, director Julien Faraut returns serve with the extraordinary story of a volleyball team's ascent in post-war Japan.

Nothing short of hypnotic, and the big game itself is a masterclass in tension.

Sarah Ward (Concrete Playground)

For a spellbinding period from the late 1950s to the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, one volleyball team ruled the international competition with a record-breaking undefeated 258-game streak. From their unlikely beginnings as a workers’ team from an Osaka textile factory, the Japanese national women’s team rose to global prominence and were dubbed ‘The Witches of the Orient’ due to their seemingly supernatural powers on the court.

Now in their 70s, the surviving members of the team reminisce on the punishing training drills and wild popularity they experienced, as the film deftly cuts between 16mm archival competition footage, present day interviews and striking scenes from the 1969–70 anime (Attack No.1!) that the ‘Witches’ inspired.

Curator’s note

French documentarist Faraut has further honed his specialty in archival sports footage following the highly-acclaimed John McEnroe: In The Realm of Perfection (2018), once again mining gold from the French Sports Institute archive to tell the story of the 'Witches'. The filmmaker's ability to bridge the connection between sport, cinema and art has been lauded by critics and seen him credited as kickstarting a micro-genre of “the sports-documentary-that’s-not-really-about-sport” (Variety).

Featuring an original score by American musician Jason Lytle (of indie rock group Grandaddy), The Witches of the Orient is a fascinating and energetic portrait of the women who captured the world’s attention and spawned a pop culture juggernaut still rumbling today.

Format: DCP
Language: French, English, Russian and Japanese with English subtitles
Source: Lightdox
Courtesy: Lightdox
Duration: 100 mins

When

See below for additional related events

Tickets

Full

$18

Concession

$14

ACMI Member

$12

Get tickets

Rating

Unclassified (All Ages)

Where

Cinemas, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

Not an ACMI Member yet?

Experience ACMI in the very best way. Get a range of discounts and invitations to exclusive previews.

SEE MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS

Multipasses – see more films in this program for less


Best 22 of 2022 program

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

ACMI building at night - photograph by Shannon McGrath

Plan your visit

COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning
Hero gnocchi - Jake Roden

Looking for dining options?

Our restaurant, cafe and bar in the heart of Fed Square features a seasonally driven menu developed by acclaimed Melbourne chef Karen Martini.

BOOK A TABLE & FIND OUT MORE
ACMI Shop items - red and blue colour scheme

ACMI Shop

Melbourne's favourite shop dedicated to all things moving image. Every purchase supports your museum of screen culture.

Shop online

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like