To a lot of people the idea of satanism will evoke images of devil worship, evil, and violent, murderous acts. With this film director Penny Lane is here to challenge these preconceptions.
Hail Satan? introduces members of the Satanic Temple, a group founded in 2013 with the purpose not of raising hell but of provoking people to think about the role of religion in modern day America – purportedly a secular country. The Satanic Temple doesn’t actually believe in Satan. Instead, they’re using the idea of religious freedom to challenge corrupt authority and the religious influence on right-wing US politics.
Setting up a series of public actions, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humour, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some unexpectedly profound ways.
Chronicling the rise of one of the most colourful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is a provocative, charming and hilarious documentary, prompting questions about the way religion could or should operate today.
- Words by
- Joe Harris