After being screened last summer at Venice Film Festival (and also rumoured to be present at the Sitges Film Festival 2017 where director William Friedkin himself was one of the guests of honor, but it wasn’t possible due to distribution matters), the big audiences will finally have the chance to watch The Devil and Father Amorth (2017) on the big screen. At least, American audiences, since the movie is scheduled to come out in theatres there next 20th of April.
Every horror fan should know veteran filmmaker William Friedkin was the director of one of the most indisputable masterpieces in horror cinema: The Exorcist (1973). Based on a novel by William Peter Blatty, who also adapted the text for the screen, this splendid movie narrated the effort of two priests in order to release a teenage girl from the evil entity that has possessed her. The movie became an instant classic and still to this date remains one of the scariest titles ever made.
The late Father Gabriele Amorth was an Italian Roman Catholic Priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who claimed to have performed tens of thousands of exorcisms over his half a dozen plus decades as a Catholic Priest. Now deceased since 2016, Amorth‘s favorite film was The Exorcist (1973). He thought it substantially correct and based on true events, although “the special effects were exaggerated”. In an interview with the London Sunday Telegraph, Amorth stressed that “People need to know what we do”. William Friedkin and Father Gabriele Amorth joined forces in order to document one of those exorcisms, practiced on an Italian woman. The result is this documentary called The Devil and Father Amorth (2017), a movie that questions science and supernatural, psychology and religious rites, in order to diagnose and eventually cure something so mysterious and threatening as a demonic possession.
Here is a very interesting interview with director William Friedkin by Alexander Darkish, after the premiere of The Devil and Father Amorth (2017) screened at the 74th Venice International Film Festival (via Positive Magazine’s official Youtube channel).