One of my favorite things about covering film festivals is getting to see the works of new-to-me writers and directors, but I also enjoy the variety of documentaries that are shown at the fests. For my coverage of North Bend Film Festival, I opted to watch one movie and two documentaries.
The Witches of the Orient was about one hundred minutes long and directed by Julien Faraut. Thought most of it is in Japanese, there were English subtitles. Here is the official summary:
In one of the greatest feats in all of sports history, a Japanese women’s volleyball team won a record 258 consecutive matches and captured gold at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. With astonishing archival footage of their relentless training, intense matches and colorful clips from anime series the women inspired during their glory, director Julien Faraut shows how this team of textile workers dominated their sport and rose to international stardom. They were ‘The Witches of the Orient’ and they were extraordinary.
I loved the style of this film. The story of the volleyball team winning 258 matches and winning gold is impressive that when someone goes to tell the story, the method has to be equally impressive. The Witches of the Orient was a great vehicle to tell the story of this amazing team. Using a combination of animation, interviews, and footage of the training and matches made this a documentary, in my opinion, a must see.