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The Devil And Father Amorth Trailer: The Director Of The Exorcist Films A Real Exorcism

The director of The Exorcist has finally gotten a glimpse at "the real thing".

William Friedkin, whose 1973 horror film about a possessed young girl and the Catholic priests who save her terrified the world, has released the first trailer for his upcoming exorcism documentary, The Devil and Father Amorth. You can watch the first trailer for the upcoming deep dive into the demonic now.

The movie follows Friedkin as he tags along with the late Father Gabriele Amorth, who officially performed exorcisms on behalf of the Vatican up until his death in 2016 at the age of 91. 

As Friedkin notes in the trailer, he had never before experienced a so-called "actual exorcism" at the time he developed The Exorcist, making the documentary project an opportunity to bring one of his most consequential life's works full circle. 

For his part, Father Amorth was a known fan of The Exorcist, which is part of the reason why Friedkin was granted permission to film so much about the Vatican's oft-misunderstood relationship with exorcisms in the first place. 

Friedkin talked about the experience of making the documentary in an interview with Variety seven months ago. In that interview, he expressed shock that he was allowed to get as much access as he was able to.

"I had no idea that I would ever be able to even meet with him," said Friedkin. "I did know how busy he was. He was doing exorcisms all day every day right up until he went into the hospital and then died."

The documentary follows Friedkin as he consults with a number of medical professionals about the science behind cases of demonic possession, but the real money shot of the movie is an actual exorcism ritual that Friedkin recorded on video, sitting in on the ninth exorcism of a woman whom Amorth visited on a monthly basis. The filmmaker later characterized the experience as a "terrifying" exercise in empathy.

"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," Friedkin said.

By any metric, the footage Friedkin managed to produce sounds fascinating, exorcism or no. The idea of an Academy Award-winning filmmaker shooting a documentary scene by himself in a room with the Vatican's official exorcist and a disturbed victim of supposed demonic possession is riveting to consider, whether you're the sort of person who believes in the devil or not. 

The Devil and Father Amorth will premiere in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles on April 20th, and is set to be rolled out on VOD sometime later during the year.