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Director: Penny Lane

Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick

Editor: Amy Foote, Aaron Wickenden

Cinamatographer: Naiti Gámez

 

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Hail Satan?

Wisconsin Premiere • documentary • USA • 2019 • DCP • 95 MIN

section: American Visions

Devilishly hilarious and blessedly freethinking, this unlikely feel-good documentary peers behind the blood-red curtain of the Satanic Temple, a cabal of pranksters hell-bent on the separation of church and state. Make no mistake, these so-called Satanists aren’t real devil-worshippers at all, or even anti-religion; in fact, their version of the Ten Commandments, the Seven Tenets, are unassailable edicts of human rights, decency, and respect. Led by the black-clad, eminently reasonable Lucien Greaves, they’re a righteous cult devoted to exposing the unconstitutional cross-breeding of Christianity and the US government, preferably by using the state's tools and religion's iconography against them. Through a mix of ambitious stunts and cheekily transgressive performance art, they grab headlines by exposing hypocrisies, usually while adopting the occult imagery (and frequent nudity) of a black mass. In actuality, their congregation includes bow-tied squares as much as tatted-up hedonists, but as their gospel spreads and more people enlist, managing their ministry poses a problem—how do you create standard practices for a rebellion? Fighting injustice with tongue in cheek, the Satanic Temple shows you can stand up for what you believe in, and have fun doing it. 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (MK)
 

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