Not only did William Friedkin direct The Exorcist, THE definitive movie about exorcism, but he also recently filmed a real exorcism for a documentary releasing this year.
For the documentary The Devil and Father Amorth, Friedkin filmed the actual exorcism of an Italian woman, performed by Father Gabriele Amorth!
Deadline reports today that the doc has been acquired for theatrical release by The Orchard, with a worldwide digital release to follow an April 20 theatrical release.
“In the early 1970s when I directed The Exorcist, I had not witnessed an exorcism but I wondered how close I had come to portraying reality,” Friedkin said. “I had been curious to meet Father Amorth for many years and when he granted permission to meet and film him in Rome last May, it was the opportunity to complete the circle and see how close that film came to reality.”
Friedkin told Variety last year, “I had to shoot it alone, obviously. The conditions were that I come along with no crew and no lights. So I used a Sony still camera that shot high-definition video. I had only that camera running and I was about two feet away from them, probably even closer.”
He continued, “It was terrifying. I went from being afraid of what could happen to feeling a great deal of empathy with this woman’s pain and suffering, which is obvious in the film.”