Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: Hail Satan?

Although God might not be in the US constitution, s/he has seemingly crept in every other aspect of American life. From schools to dollar bills. Whilst there’s officially a separation between church and state, that doesn’t stop the religious right trying to impose Christian rhetoric and values whether it can. That’s where The Satanic Temple comes in. To provide a balance and counterweight to the prevalent religious doctrine.

In her new documentary, Hail Satan?, Penny Lane follows the group as they challenge the status quo and moves by state legislatures to impose Christianity within federal properties. The primary driver of The Satanic Temple is playing the role as an adversary. Holding the prevailing social values and political mindset to account. We’re given an overview into the formation of the (tax exempt) organisation, its principles and current struggles to oppose religious-creep into secular institutions.

Hail Satan? Is a whole lot of fun. It’s edited in a way which makes it zip along, overflowing with colourful characters and makes some really well-reasoned and important points. There’s so much fun to be had and Penny Lane ensures she extracts every last drop. Whilst it’s great entertainment, it does feel slightly stretched and is unwilling to cast a critical eye in on The Satanic Temple. That being said, it one of the most amusing documentaries you’re liable to see this year.

Hail Satan? Is out in cinemas and on demand on 23 August

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