The article deals with the 'Exorcist' (1973) directed by William Friedkin, and the most popular interpretations of this film, which most commonly referred to the demon possession of Regan MacNeil, as a metaphor for socio-political unrest and the crisis of values in the USA in the late 60s and early 70s of the twentieth century. The author contrasts these typical readings of the classic horror with more recent interpretations expressing the fears of the last decade (such as the fear of the consequences of the American military presence in Iraq, or of sexual child abuse). The author suggests that the common factor present in all those interpretations is the tendency to interpret it in religious categories, or as universal struggle of good against evil. Such was the original intention of both Friedkin, and William Peter Blatty, the author of the text that the film was based on.
G. Nadgrodkiewicz, Instytut Sztuki PAN, Zaklad Antropologii Kultury, Filmu i Sztuki Audiowizualnej - 'Kwartalnik Filmowy', ul. Dluga 26/28, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
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