VIDEO: Watch the Trailer For William Friedkin's Exorcism Documentary THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH
In his latest, William Friedkin returns not only to his documentary roots but to the subject of one of his most towering works, 1973's The Exorcist. Friedkin, a legendary raconteur, leads a tour that moves from the infamous Exorcist steps in Georgetown to Italy, where he meets with the 91-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth, official exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, and accompanies Amorth on one of his harrowing house calls. A sprightly, at times gonzo-style, investigation into the long history of demonic lore, and a one-of-a-kind insight into the persistence of medieval belief in the supposedly modern world.
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.