William Friedkin Captures a Real-Life Exorcist in First Trailer for ‘The Devil and Father Amorth’

Written by on March 21, 2018 

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45 years after The Exorcist terrified audiences across the world, William Friedkin is returning the world of spiritual entities with a new feature, this time taking the documentary route. The Devil and Father Amorth follows Father Gabrielle Amorth, the head Exorcist for the Diocese of Rome for over 30 years, and after premiering on the fall festival circuit, the first trailer has arrived ahead of a release next month.

“I had been curious to meet Father Amorth for many years. In the early 1970s, when I directed the film The Exorcist, I had not witnessed an exorcism,” Friedkin writes in an in-depth Vanity Fair feature before the making of the film. “Maybe this would be an opportunity to complete the circle, to see how close we who worked on the film came to reality or to discover that what we created was sheer invention.”

For some real-life terror, see the trailer below.

Years after he changed the landscape of American filmmaking with 1973’s THE EXORCIST, director, co-writer and legendary storyteller William Friedkin moves from fiction to fact with his new documentary, THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH. What began as a brief conversation between Friedkin and Father Gabrielle Amorth – the head Exorcist for the Diocese of Rome for over 30 years – as two professionals who knew of each other’s work soon transformed into an once-in-a- lifetime opportunity, as Amorth agreed Friedkin could film an exorcism ceremony. It would be the ninth exorcism for a painfully afflicted woman, Cristina (a pseudonym), who had already been under Father Amorth’s care – and it would be filmed by Friedkin alone, with no other crew allowed, no light other than the natural light in the room and a small digital camera-and-mic unit that could capture the ritual and its revelations.

Combining the startling and singular footage from Cristina’s exorcism with interviews from priests and psychologists, neurosurgeons and non-believers, Friedkin guides us on a journey into the twilight world between the boundaries of what we know and what we don’t with a singular and startling guide in the form of the urbane, charming and self-deprecatingly funny Father Amorth, a man who laughs in the face of the Devil both figuratively and literally. Combining Friedkin’s past memories and present observations with archival footage and new interviews – as well as also presenting what may be the only real exorcism ceremony captured on film – THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH is a startling and surprising story of the religion, the ritual and the real-world victims involved in possession and exorcism.

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The Devil and Father Amorth opens on April 20.


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