Hail Satan? That’s a good question, and it’s also the name of Penny Lane’s new documentary premiering at Sundance. The filmmaker visited the IndieWire Studio presented by Dropbox along with Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves, and the two discussed the many misconceptions about Satanism — some of which are addressed in the film.
“One of the reasons that I wanted to make this film is because I personally related a lot to the Satanists and their mission, not because I’m a Satanist or because I’m particularly engaged in a church-state battle of my own — more that I feel a kinship with people who choose to do the difficult work of being heretics,” said Lane while speaking to IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt.
“Society needs skeptics. It needs outsiders to stand up for themselves and fight against the dominant ideas,” she added. “We need that; it’s really healthy to have that. I really appreciated the role that they were taking on in this particular cultural context, and I related to it personally because I feel a kinship to the kind of person who doesn’t mind if their point of view upsets you.”
“For me it seems kind of obvious that there’s been a complete reversal in the roles of who’s ostensibly the good guys and who are the bad guys,” said Greaves. “Right now we have evangelical nationalists pushing a theocratic agenda in the United States and making great headway to take away people’s reproductive rights, endorse corporal punishment in schools, spread pseudoscience or otherwise reject the scientific point of view, and really undermining liberal democracy.”
“At this point there seems to be an inherent, intuitive grasp of what Satan can mean in a heroic context, and I think you see that vindicated in the film when you see how quickly we’ve grown and how much that kind of iconography has resonated with people.”
Watch their full conversation — including Greaves’ thoughts on Trump vis-à-vis Satanism — below.