Battling Evil: Inside the Mind of a Modern-Day Exorcist

In the Tuscan hills of Italy, psychiatrist Father Raffaele Talmelli has been entrusted with an ancient and sacred duty. He is an exorcist, meaning he performs the Catholic rite of expelling evil spirits from victims of demonic possession. Before beginning the holy ritual, Talmelli must first evaluate whether the afflicted soul is suffering from a mental health issue. “There is such a big misunderstanding in our world to mistake psychiatric issues with possessions and vice versa.” As for true possessions, Talmelli emphasizes that evil can only take hold with our consent. “As long as we are alive, we can exercise our free will.”

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The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

Battling Evil: Inside the Mind of a Modern-Day Exorcist

In the Tuscan hills of Italy, psychiatrist Father Raffaele Talmelli has been entrusted with an ancient and sacred duty. He is an exorcist, meaning he performs the Catholic rite of expelling evil spirits from victims of demonic possession. Before beginning the holy ritual, Talmelli must first evaluate whether the afflicted soul is suffering from a mental health issue. “There is such a big misunderstanding in our world to mistake psychiatric issues with possessions and vice versa.” As for true possessions, Talmelli emphasizes that evil can only take hold with our consent. “As long as we are alive, we can exercise our free will.”

Follow filmmaker Ivan Olita on Instagram and Vimeo.
Follow BRAVÒ on Instagram and Vimeo.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.