William Friedkin’s documentary about exorcisms, “The Devil and Father Amorth,” which has him witnessing first-hand the work of the Vatican’s in-house exorcist, has been acquired by LD Entertainment who will work with ICM Partners to enter into partnerships to distribute the film worldwide.
Friedkin, of course, directed the screen adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist” in 1973 which had moviegoers lining up around the block to see it. The documentary looks at how the exorcism in the movie compares to a real exorcism. The film’s title comes from the filmmaker’s ability to attend Father Gabiele Amorth’s ninth exorcism — it took place with an Italian woman who had been experiencing behavioral changes and “fits” that could not be explained by psychiatry; they became worse during Christian holidays.
Known as the “Dean of Exorcists,” Father Amorth has performed thousands of rituals to rid evil from the human body. On the Italian woman, Father Amorth and the demon inside the woman began conversing in Latin, a language that the woman did not know. The priest has since died (at the age of 91).
“This film really shook me to the core,” Liddell told Deadline. “It made me wonder if this is possible, demonic possessions.”
Added Friedkin in a statement: “I never stopped being fascinated by the nature of good and evil and the possibility of demonic possession. The opportunity for me to witness and film an actual exorcism came about more than four decades after I made “The Exorcist” completely by accident.” The filmmaker is in post-production on the documentary now.
LD and Friedkin previously worked together on the 2011 indie film “Killer Joe” which was based on the Pultizer Prize-winning play from Tracy Letts and starred Matthew McConaughey.