Fighting for equality? Or a ploy to troll the religious right? Director Penny Lane’s newest documentary “Hail Satan?” takes a look inside the rise of a new “religious” movement; The Satanic Temple.
I had the opportunity to view “Hail Satan?” at The Circle Cinema in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Following the show I attended a Q&A Skype session with The Satanic Temple’s spokesperson, and documentary star, Lucien Greaves. Being able to attend the Q&A gave me some insight into the film that I feel has been lacking in quite a few reviews.
Firstly, “Hail Satan?” was directed by Penny Lane. From my understanding she is not a member of The Satanic Temple, nor is she a “Satanist”. From this I would assume that she has no partisan agenda, strictly wanting to show the grassroots movement of this controversial group.
The film takes us through the wunderkind rise of The Satanic Temple. We learn about the formation of the group. How Lucien Greaves decided to step to the forefront and take on the responsibility as the speaker for TST. We see the internal struggle of a small group on the fringes of society evolving into a full-blown religion. Then the embattled group waring with Christian cultural norms. The film does a great job of giving us insight into just how these Christian values worked their way into American laws.
Viewers will learn that The Satanic Temple came to be as a direct response to oppose the oppression of religious freedom. They seek equality. If the Ten Commandments can be placed on government grounds, why can’t a harrowing statue of Baphomet be placed with it? Is it religious freedom if only Christian values are upheld? Does separation of church and state exist anymore in America? These are the questions that TST is asking. These are the questions that all of us should be asking.
The Satanic Temple agenda doesn’t end with placing the statue of a deity on government grounds. The group has spoken out against such topics as abortion, corporal punishment, and after-school religious programs. They clean up parks, roads, and beaches. They organize food drives, give socks to the homeless, and collect tampons for women that need them.
“Hail Satan?” will show you just how human these Satanist really are. You will laugh, you will cry. You will see naked bodies. A shocking number of dicks actually. Like five different scenes with the male penis on full display. A skewed tit to dick ratio. But hey, they aren’t your typical religious group. I suggest everyone go and see “Hail Satan?”, you won’t be disappointed.
The full Q&A is not at this time available for me to link. So for now, I won’t comment on that. But come back later to see me break that down.