Diane fills her days helping others and desperately attempting to bond with her drug-addicted son. As these pieces of her existence begin to fade, she finds herself confronting memories she'd sooner forget than face.
With unprecedented access, HAIL SATAN traces the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple and its enigmatic leader Lucien Greaves are calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation's soul. But are they for real?
"Hail Satan?" (2019 release; 95 min.) is a documentary about the Satanic Temple (TST) and its search for the separation of church and state. As the movie opens, we are in "Tallahassee, 2013" where TST is holding a rally on the steps of the Florida statehouse. Hardly anyone is giving it any attention. We are introduced to Lucien, the spokesperson for TST. When TST wants to do a black mass in Boston, the catholic church and community in Boston organizes a massive protest against "these rapists and murderers", while of course the reality is that the Boston catholic church has allowed sexual abuse against young kids for decades and decades... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll jut have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from Penny Lane, who previously brought us "Our Nixon". Here she explores the hypocrisy in certain segments of the population, who are easily riled up by these satanists. Lane along the way brings us a History 101 of satanism. The core of the film goes to looking at the separation of church and state, which TST wants enforced. The segments dealing with the 10 Commandments are instrumental. So this documentary is not quite what I expected it to be, and in fact is likely to make you think about a few things in a way that you might not have expected. Kudos to Lane for that.
"Hail Satan?" premiered at the Sundance festival earlier this yer to positive acclaim, and recently opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended poorly (6 people, including myself). Hopefully this can gain a larger audience as it is released on other platforms. If you like documentaries, or have an interest in issues surrounding the separation of church and state, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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