Journey to 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 worker’s 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.
Julien Faraut, director of John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection(2018) screened at the 19th edition of JEONJU IFF, comes back with a new documentary following the Japan women’s national volleyball team. They won a gold medal in Tokyo Olympic Games 1964. The film begins with a reunion of old ladies at a restaurant. They are former players of the Nichibo textile factory volleyball team and Japan’s national team. They worked during the day and trained non-stop, under the strict “demon” Coach Daimatsu, literally rolling on the hard floor until late at night. The team was undefeated, even beat the Soviet Union team, which had dominated the world at the finals of the Olympic games. Such a miracle could not happen without dedication, sacrifice, and a price to pay. This amazing story of players from a corporate team to become Olympic champions is told on screen. The miracle of hard work and dedication of the Witches depicted in the film will keep you on your toes. (CHUN Jinsu)
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(54999) JEONJU Cine Complex, 22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea T. +82 (0)63 231 3377