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‘The Devil and Father Amorth’ brings a real exorcism to theaters

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The director of 'The Exorcist' returns with documentation of real demonic possession.

William Friedkin became responsible for the nightmares of a whole generation when he released The Exorcist in 1973. The film, based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, was made all the more chilling by its reference to real events. Now, 45 years later, Friedkin, 82,  is releasing a documentary about a real exorcism and a real exorcist, which he filmed in 2015. It’s called The Devil and Father Amorth.

Scheduled to reach theaters on April 20, the film follows the Vatican’s chief exorcist, Gabriel Amorth, in his efforts to free a young woman from demonic possession. Friedkin sought out Father Amorth after his 1973 film left him with a deep curiosity about this horrifying affliction, and the two became close after several conversations.

It was not until 2015 that Father Amorth invited Friedkin to witness and record an authentic exorcism, which gave Friedkin the footage seen in the trailer for The Devil and Father Amorth.

SlashFilm has the synopsis of the documentary, which describes itself as, “a startling and surprising story of the religion, the ritual and the real-world victims involved in possession and exorcism”:

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 film also includes interviews with medical professionals who have examined the possessed woman, as well as conversations with Bishop Robert Barron.

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