Il demonio

  • 98'
  • Italy
  • 1963

After Purificata has been rejected a few times too often by the man she desires, she puts a hex on him – resulting in the church demanding an exorcism of the young peasant woman, as she must be possessed by the devil.

Il demonio is a truly unique experiment in the history of cinema. It’s probably the first piece of movie gothic to be based on contemporary scientific studies: the research conducted by Italian anthropologist Ernesto de Martino in the Basilicata, one of Italy’s southernmost regions. Put another way, it’s the lone neorealist film to explore the spheres of popular beliefs that veers into Folk Horror territory. For longtime Fellini friend and collaborator Brunello Rondi, Purificata would be the first of his many women in revolt, a company that includes disappointed bourgeois wives (Valeria dentro e fuori, 1972), convicts (Prigione di donne, 1974) and Mother Teresa (La voce, 1982).

Director
Brunello Rondi
Countries of production
Italy, France
Production Year
1963
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
98'
Medium
35mm
International title
The Demon
Language
Italian
Producers
Ugo Guerra, Federico Magnaghi, Luciano Martino
Production Companies
Titanus, Vox Films
Sales
Titanus
Screenplay
Ugo Guerra, Luciano Martino, Brunello Rondi
Cinematography
Carlo Bellero
Editor
Mario Serandrei
Music
Nino Rota
Cast
Daliah Lavi, Frank Wolff, Anna María Aveta, Rossana Rovere