Do you believe in equality for all? Are you in favor of quashing pious and political hypocrisy? Do you feel this way without actually worshiping the devil? Well then, here’s a first amendment docu-comedy worth the price of admission.
Opening this Friday at Darkside Cinema is Penny Lane’s uproarious new documentary, Hail Satan?, an unexpectedly eye-opening account of how the Satanic Temple has evolved in the six short years since being founded in 2013. Far less of a devilish religious sect than a political movement motivated by protecting the first amendment, the Satanic Temple has taken their stigmatized demonization by the mainstream so personally that have sought to not only redefine Satanism, but to expose every religious and sociopolitical group that dare stand in its way.
This includes taking on the pedophilic Catholic Church of Boston, satirically skewering the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, ribbing the Mormon Church, as well as challenging southern statehouses opposed to nonviolent teachings of Satanism.
The biggest coup the Satanic Temple aims for in this documentary is erecting a nine-foot statue of Baphomet to sit beside an edifice of the Ten Commandments outside the Arkansas statehouse – but, talk about upsetting the applecart.
In addition to the unforeseen hilarity of those centrally involved in the Satanic Temple, including the creepy cycloptic figurehead known as Lucien Greaves, the biggest strength of Hail Satan? is how it thoroughly upends one’s preconceived notions of Satanism.
As a surprising bastion of free speech and religious inclusivity, there’s conspicuous absence of the devil in the details of the Satanic Temple. Who knew?!