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Hail Satan?

  • Documentary and factual
  • 2019
  • Penny Lane
  • 94 mins
  • 15

Summary

A look at the quick rise and influence of the controversial religious group known as The Satanic Temple.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

A documentary about how the Satanic Temple established parity with Christianity in the USA would seem a perfect vessel for controversy, what with the burgeoning power and influence of Christian evangelism in Trump's America. However, Penny Lane's illuminating film has more going for it than just irreverence as the Temple - led by its articulate spokesman Lucien Greaves - also has the backing of the first amendment of the US constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and religion. In the spirit of fairness, the Temple then proceeds to have a statue of Baphomet erected next to a tablet of the Ten Commandments outside Oklahoma's State Capitol. But is this for real or a satirical send-up? There's certainly plenty of absurdity and gasp-inducing provocation - what is placed on the gravestone of the mother of hate preacher Fred Phelps, for instance. However, there is also serious insight into how American secularism was gradually eroded in the post-war era, to the extent that the Temple's followers here come across as rebels of rationalism rather than fanatical devil-worshippers. A potted history of Satanism puts much in perspective, but the real eye-opener is the influence of Charlton Heston and his most famous biblical role.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Lucien GreavesLucien Greaves
Jex BlackmoreJex Blackmore
Nicholas CroweNicholas Crowe
Satanic leaderMichael Wiener

Crew

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DirectorPenny Lane

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dogwoof
Released on
2019-08-23
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing, nudity, disturbing images
Formats
Colour
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