Alt-righters and religious extremists fear no one more than they fear devil worshippers, so they are going to hate Penny Lane’s newest documentary chronicling the rise of the Satanic Temple. “Hail Satan?” premiered to widely favorable reviews at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered in U.S. Documentary Competition. Magnolia Pictures picked up international rights to the film ahead of its premiere, and the distributor released the first official trailer today.
The official synopsis reads: “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.”
In his B+ review of “Hail Satan?,” IndieWire critic David Ehrlich wrote: “Lane’s documentary — which further cements her status as one of nonfiction cinema’s most fearless and unpredictable filmmakers, and proves as radical in thought as previous features like ‘Nuts!’ and ‘Our Nixon’ were in form — amusingly explores the idea that it’s possible to sow chaos with order as it is to sow order with chaos. Without ever losing sight of the Temple’s performative streak…the film keys in on the idea of blasphemy as an expression of personal independence.”
“Hail Satan?” received grant support from Catapult Film Fund, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program with JustFilms/Ford Foundation, Rooftop Films, Cinereach, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Colgate University.
Magnolia Pictures will release “Hail Satan?” in theaters on April 19, 2019. Check out the devilish trailer below.