William Friedkin, director of the classic 1973 film The Exorcist, just screened his new documentary about a "real" exorcism conducted by Father Gabriele Amorth on behest of the Vatican’s Rome Diocese. Friedkin's film is titled "The Devil and Father Amorth." From an interview with Friedkin in Variety:
What was the experience of witnessing a real exorcism so close up like?
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...
You have subsequently consulted with scientists in the U.S. about what you witnessed and filmed. What did they say?
I consulted with neurologists, brain surgeons, some of the best in the United States. The brain surgeons had no idea what her affliction was and none of them would recommend an operation. They believe that everything originates in the brain but — and they say this in the film — they have never seen anything quite like these symptoms….Then the psychiatrists…all described how psychiatry now recognizes demonic possession. It’s called dissociative identity disorder/demonic possession. And if a patient comes in and says they are possessed by a demon or a devil, they don’t tell them that they are not….They do whatever psychiatric treatment they think is necessary, including medication. And they bring an exorcist in.
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