Preview: Hail, Satan?

Preview: Hail Satan?

Sarah Cook, Marketing Manager at Picturehouse Central takes a look at Hail, Satan? Playing as exclusive preview on Tuesday 20 August.

It’s 2019. Boris Johnson is our Prime Minister. Donald Trump is America’s President. Breixt is about to happen.

And all over the world, a black-clothed, pentagram-wearing, religious group called The Satanic Temple is saying “enough.”

Penny Lane’s incredible documentary dives into anarchic group The Satanic Temple. Led by Lucien Greaves (not his real name,) the religious group’s aim is to highlight unconstitutional Christian influence in law-making. Hail Satan mostly centres on the group’s mission to build a Baphomet statue to counteract the Ten Commandments already in place on Government property in Arkansas. The film also delves into the history of Satanism, including the first media appearance of the group and the Satanic Panic of the nineties

Through different activities and devilish iconography, the Satanic Temple aims to skewer religious elements in politics. Pairing talking head interviews (including a shadow clad man adorned with horns) with footage from different protests, Lane showcase show the Satantic Temple work. A nonthesitc religion (meaning they do not adhere to the presence of one God) across America, and now the world, they strive to not only make their religious belief recognised as equally as other religions, but they protest through extravagant (and sometimes very funny) displays and demonstrations. It’s impossible not to fall in love with The Satanic Temple and their crusade to separate church from the state.

Their quest for equality is, of course, met with dissention and detractors. Many become angry with the group, including a city-wide protest against The Satanic Temple in Boston. Despite this tension, Lane’s documentary hilariously and intelligently shows the hypocrisy at play, with embittered accusations thrown at the group.

Lane is clear to keep some objectivity, particularly with their extreme protests. For example, a branch leader of the Temple winds up in hot water when she openly seeks for the assassination of President Trump. There are questionable antics which show that the group are not necessarily infallible, even though they are highly enjoyable.

Still, Lucian Greaves and his band of merry men make, quite rightly, a mockery of extreme religion and are highly progressive. With America, and (again) the world becoming more oppressive, a film like this is very needed. Not just because of hilarity and fun at the core of it, but because it is great to see people fighting the good fight – horns and all!

So Hail the Satanic Temple!

And yes, indeed, Hail Satan.

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