Balkan Dox

The Witches of the Orient

Les sorcières de l'Orient

2021 — 100 min / Colour



Meet the former players of the Japanese women’s volleyball team. Now in their 70s, they used to be known as the ‘Witches of the Orient’ because of their seemingly supernatural powers on the courts. From the formation of the squad in the late 1950s as a workers’ team at a textile factory, right up until their triumph at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, their memories and true magic from long ago bubble up into a heady brew where fact and fable fly hand in hand.

Official Trailer

Directors' Biography

Julien Faraut (1978) is a documentary filmmaker from France. After studying history, he has worked for the Institut national du sport in Paris, where he supervises a collection of 16mm films. Using these collections, Faraut makes his own visual essays, combining sport history and documentary art. In the Realm of Perfection (2018) screened at IDFA and won a Public Award at Berlinale.

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Julien Faraut


William Jehannin


Yamazaki Yutaka


Mathilde Delacroix


Léon Rousseau

Screenings & Awards

IFFR Rotterdam , Netherlands, 2021

BFI London, United Kingdom, 2021

Sheffield Doc/Fest, United Kingdom, 2021

Doc Fortnight, MoMA, United States, 2021