The Exorcist director: Vatican let me film real exorcism

The director of “The Exorcist” movie has revealed that he was allowed to film a real exorcism at the Vatican.

William Friedkin told a masterclass at the Cannes film festival about the episode and its impact on him.

“I was invited by the Vatican exorcist this month to shoot and video an actual exorcism which . . . few people have ever seen and which nobody has ever photographed,” he said.

Mr Freidkin said he was shocked at how close the ceremony was to the exorcism depicted in his 1973 movie.

“I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing.

“I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome,” he said.

The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment and has yet to confirm Mr Freidkin’s claims.

The Exorcist movie, based on a novel by William Peter Blatty, recounts the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and her mother’s attempts to win her back through a rite conducted by two priests.

The book was based on the 1949 case of an American teenager called Roland.

Mr Friedkin, 80, said the Catholic “archdiocese of Washington DC asked Blatty to change the gender (in the novel) so as not to draw attention to the young man”.

Having read extensively about this case, Mr Freidkin said he believes the boy was genuinely possessed.

“Everything having to do with medical science and psychiatry was attempted.

“This young man suffered from afflictions very similar to what’s in the film, as hard is that is to believe.”

“I believed in this story,” Mr Friedkin told the audience in Cannes, referring to the original possession of the boy.

“I made this story as a believer. I’m not Catholic, I don’t to church, I don’t belong to a church or a synagogue.”


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