Hail Satan? (2019)
Directed by Penny Lane
Heavy rain pours as I stand in the entrance to a bar in Shoreditch. To my right is a well-lit room, filled with an array of questionably well-dressed individuals, unwinding on a typical Wednesday evening. Escaping the rain and the stresses of their London lives. To my right is a narrow staircase, descending into a dark basement, where of which I have been invited. I proceed down the steps, still unsure if I should even be heading down there, or what is even in store for me, but am reassured when I see another individual dressed head to toe in black, speaking to a puzzled lady with a clipboard. He is telling her how he is extremely interested in devil worship, satanic rituals and how his grandmother was a member of the occult. Eyes wide and questioning whether I made the right choice tonight, I sat in a dark basement with a group of people and came to a realisation. This is really not the film this dude was hoping to see!
Hail Satan! is absolutely fascinating. Destroying all misconceptions of what modern Satanism entails and truly opening your mind to the glaring complications of integrated religion. Snapshotting the motivations and passions of many members of ‘The Satanic Temple’, it is quite clear that these people are driven to making the world a better place, free of corruption and religious guilt. Pro LGBT, abortion, religious equality and believe unequivocally, that humans should have complete rights to do whatever they wish to their own bodies.
Lucien Greaves is our gateway into the world of modern Satanism; he is the Cofounder and spokesperson for ‘The Satanic Temple’. Not only is he extremely interesting to look at, he is also such an intriguing individual. Quite introverted and only expressing what he feels is necessary; Lucien was a great host for the documentary. Leading us through his journey and the controversies he has encountered is faultlessly captivating and extremely funny, but ultimately quite troubling. Unveiling true faults in a Christian government, that silences any attempt for change. With the American people only seeing modern Satanists as evil beings and ignoring the positive ideology they are trying to preach.
We meet many members of the Satanic Temple, from very different backgrounds and walks of life. Individuals that have had major struggles in their lives, struggles that religions nowadays would try to cast out or suppress. Modern Satanism is about embracing what makes you different, loving it and letting it thrive and in turn being part of a community that embrace each other for the very same reason.
The world could really benefit from the virtuous morals ‘The Satanic Temple’ live by. A movement that looks out for the individual and not the many. One of love and never hate. Negotiating their attempts for change with grace and never with force. Run by people who were left behind by ancient religions and surpassed all of them, bringing faith into the future. This documentary is not just enchanting and thoroughly entertaining, but also educational, sincere and important. Watch it!