There’s a cute moment in the trailer for Hail Satan? when someone shouts “you’re going to Hell!” at a member of the Satanic Temple, and he responds, “I believe it and I’m very excited about it.” That basically sums up what most viewers know about the group, but the new documentary from Penny Lane (Our Nixon) is looking to enlighten audiences with a closer look at this controversial religious movement–and possibly shining a light on the hypocrisy of some of the group’s biggest critics along the way.
At the heart of the doc is the Satanic Temple’s famous fight for equal rights–namely, their insistence that a statue honoring their deity be erected on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol, a direct response to the placement of a statue boasting the Biblical ten commandments on the same grounds. So sayeth the official synopsis:
Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon). When media-savvy members of the Satanic Temple organize a series of public actions designed to advocate for religious freedom and challenge corrupt authority, they prove that with little more than a clever idea, a mischievous sense of humor, and a few rebellious friends, you can speak truth to power in some truly profound ways. As charming and funny as it is thought-provoking, Hail Satan? offers a timely look at a group of often misunderstood outsiders whose unwavering commitment to social and political justice has empowered thousands of people around the world.
Hail Satan? (hail Satan!) hits theaters on April 19.