William Friedkin attends a walking tour around Georgetown that focused on some of the film locations from the original "Exorcist" in Washington, D.C.
William Friedkin attends a walking tour around Georgetown that focused on some of the film locations from the original "Exorcist" in Washington, D.C. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

William Friedkin, director of the 1973 classic film The Exorcist, is dealing with the devil again—but don't expect more twisting heads, levitating beds or spurts of green vomit.

That was fiction. This time, it's the real thing with no special effects, but it is nonetheless harrowing.

Friedkin has made an hour-long documentary called The Devil and Father Amorth about perhaps the world's most famous exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, an Italian priest who died in 2016 at the age of 91.

"Some people will see this and be skeptical. I'm not a skeptic," Friedkin, 83, said in a telephone interview ahead of the release of the documentary in New York and Los Angeles on Friday.

Friedkin struck up a friendship with Amorth, a disarmingly jovial man despite his serious work.

"We had hours of conversations about religious matters, the New Testament and about the case he was working on," said Friedkin, who was raised in a Jewish family in Chicago.

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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