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The Exorcist in the 21st Century (2012)

TV-PG | | Documentary | 1 April 2012 (Norway)
The Exorcist in the 21st Century takes the viewer into the unknown and sinister world of exorcism in the Catholic Church. We meet one of the few exorcists in Europe, the Vatican approved ... See full summary »


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Father Gabriele Amorth performs his ninth exorcism on an Italian woman.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gabriele Amorth, Robert Barron, William Friedkin


Credited cast:
José Antonio Fortea ... Himself (as Fr. José Antonio Fortea)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bernt Eidsvik ... Himself
Juan Masia ... Himself
Olav Müller ... Himself


The Exorcist in the 21st Century takes the viewer into the unknown and sinister world of exorcism in the Catholic Church. We meet one of the few exorcists in Europe, the Vatican approved José Antonio Fortea. He travels around the world on a mission to enlighten the masses about demonic possession. Constanza, a Colombian woman, is desperately looking for Fr. Forteas help. She claims to have been possessed by demons for nearly 15 years and she goes through a ritual of exorcism before she sees the Spanish exorcist as a last hope for spiritual liberation. The film follows both their journeys and gives a unique insight into one of the world most secret and mystical rites - the catholic ritual of exorcism. Written by Gammaglimt AS

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Plot Keywords:

exorcism | See All (1) »






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Release Date:

1 April 2012 (Norway)  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


NOK 3,000,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Portrait of a current-age exorcism that contains only what the camera captured, allowing it to avoid judgements beyond those added by the viewers.
12 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

Seldom does one come across films that are as misunderstood and misrepresented by the critics as The Exorcist in the 21st Century. While nearly every critic claims that it states a for or against opinion on the topic, it actually wastn't supposed to do either. To quote the website dedicated to the documentary (theexorcistdoc.com): "The goal of the film is to delve into this mysterious world and let people decide for themselves what to believe." Whether or not it succeeded is a different matter, but I think that question could be answered by simply looking at the critics once more. Their (erroneous) claims of the intentions of the creators behind the documentary goes both ways depending on the mindset of the critic in question, thus forcing us to conclude that the film did as intended: The Exorcist in the 21st Century is placed on neutral enough ground that the critics see whatever bias their own biases allows them to see.

(There is, however, a likely reason for the behaviour of the aforementioned critics. Documentaries that try for an unappraising approach to a given subject are rare, very rare. It is likely that they were so accustomed to being fed someone else's opinion that they never expected this documentary to be any different.)

The concept combines the belief in the possession by malignant souls with the belief in a deity who permits their eviction. In other words there must be a possessed and an evictor. The sufferer is a lady named Constanza who says she has been infested with demons for fifteen years. To finally bring about an end to this she has contacted Father José Antonio Fortea, one of the few exorcists sanctioned by the Catholic Church. We are introduced to two very real lives, both of which are much to regular and everyday to ever tempt Hollywood, but then again most lives are just like that despite their occasional dislocations from the average.

The documentary ends with what everyone expects from it, an exorcism. This includes not just the sermoning and the opposition by the possessed in its simplicity, again as Hollywood would have presented us. Our mimicry, with the eyes in particular, are windows into our minds where our thoughts attempt to leak through, occasionally opposed, yet unopposed at other times, and once in a while there will escape an impulse from those bonds that attempt to bind it internally and then give us a glimpse of what is hidden deep inside. Unlike with Hollywood's simulation of life there are real lives behind the mimicry herein, and the richness of a life lived cannot ever be emulated better than reality itself can provide it. What I am trying to say is that this is perhaps the most important part of the experience of watching this film: The depth of the individuals involved and the following deeper understanding of those actualities which are linked to a real- life exorcism.

I see only one negative side of the documentary and that is the inclusion of a disagreeing commentator, although he is present but in a few brief occasions. It is defended with that he is a part of the Catholic Church and that his presence is there to give insight into the disagreements within the church on the subject of exorcisms. I felt that it conflicted with the social-anthropological nature of the overall movie by forcing debate rather than letting the debate rise within the viewer on its own volition.

In brief, I would recommend watching this documentary with the awareness that it was never intended to influence you beyond showing you what happened. I would also recommend ignoring the aforementioned commentator and focus on interpreting the happenings the camera captured, instead letting your own thought processes and curiosity lead your evaluations. On a whole I would claim that this is exactly the kind of documentary which is truly valuable when attempting to gain insight into the workings of exorcisms. Now that so many other documentaries have presented the pro/con debate in countless ways it is truly refreshing to see for oneself what all the fuzz is about.

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