I’ll sit down to watch pretty much anything ‘Exorcist’ or exorcism related, which is a funny concept I suppose, considering I don’t believe in any religious beliefs or iconography at all…it probably says more about me than anything else.
The screener for Libera Nos (Deliver Us) landed in my inbox and I was genuinely very excited to watch it. A documentary set among the priests of the Sicilian city of Palermo, the basis of this documentary are that people travel great distances in the hope of seeking some time with Father Cataldo.
Hundreds of people with legitimate issues such as Drug addictions, Schizophrenia or Depression are herded in like cattle to masses where group exorcisms are performed to the people that do not have the money or time to be seen on a 1 to 1 basis. Anyone with any knowledge of the true exorcism process or has read/watched ‘The Rite‘ will know that traditional exorcisms are performed over an extended period of time, unlike the Hollywood ‘wham-bam, thank-you-holy-man’ method. There isn’t a lot of ‘crab walking,’ down the stairs or crucifix masturbation scenes on offer here; instead it resembles something more of a televangelist conducting faith healing, with a lot of praying and babbling in tongues.
You’ll follow lots stories as people desperately seek to cleansed of many maniacal demonic presences and malevolent spirits that have burrowed deep within their mind. It’s actually quite chilling to see that so many people whom are in need of medical help are ushered into a grand room and essentially told..
‘Don’t worry everything will be fine, chuck your pennies in the basket and chill.’
I had to be convinced that this actually was a real documentary as I struggled to believe that people could be so naive to believe that they could be exorcised via a mobile phone… but such is the power of faith. The documentary team have done a great job in showing the processes and practices in neither a favourable nor unfavourable light. For what it’s worth, it looks exhausting for Cataldo and his minions. They are under the strain of a constant barrage of people in desperate need of being seen by specialists – not by people who will play along with their delusions. They also have to be completely brutal in who they deem to be worthy of immediate and interactive attention and who should book an appointment.
In truth, if you’re looking for a movie about demons and exorcists that will excite you and entertain you, this ultimately isn’t the film for you. If you want a movie that will give you an insight to the life of an exorcist and how archaic the thoughts and understanding of physical and mental illness is within the the most religious areas of the world…well this is definitely an informative watch.
If you’re expecting the Hollywood glitz and glamour removal of Satan…you’ll have to look elsewhere.
DELIVER US (Liberami) is in cinemas 27th October and on DVD 30th October #DELIVERUSFILM
Review by Mike Prime
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