NPR

William Friedkin Meets 'The Devil And Father Amorth'

The director of The Exorcist compiles footage of an exorcism he filmed for a magazine article. The bizarre result "seems to have been made by someone who's never seen a movie before."
Father Gabriele Amorth is the subject of William Friedkin's oddly slapdash documentary, The Devil and Father Amorth. Source: William Friedkin

"The director of The Exorcist witnesses a real exorcism." It's a hook too devilish to resist, so in 2016 Vanity Fair sent filmmaker William Friedkin to Italy to file a story about Father Gabriele Amorth. Rome's leading exorcist was then 91 and, though he didn't yet know it, only a few months from death. He plowed ahead with his work, performing a ritual on a woman he believed to be possessed by Satan, and invited Friedkin to document it, in a rare sit-in.

This was basically the plot of Friedkin's 1973, a documentary Friedkin compiled from the footage he filmed for the article, is quite short, running just over an hour ... but it's one of the most bizarre hours of documentary you're likely to see from an accomplished director. Mostly because, despite Friedkin's pedigree, it seems to have been made by someone who's never seen a movie before.

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