Hail Satan? (2019) Poster

(2019)

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8/10
Not what you think
kosmasp25 September 2019
Well unless you are already familiar with the Satanic Temple that is. I wasn't and I was quite surprised. If Satanists engage in equal rights, clean the streets of trash and do things most would consider Christian ... that is quite a surprise. Even if you are not into "Satan" (and I am not), they even give you a yin/yang balance. As in, if you have this statue put up, we want one of ours there too.

Was quite surprised to learn about a lot of things and this is quite entertaining overall (there's nudity in case that matters to you one way or the other). Now after I watched the movie someone told me that the documentary shines a light on the organisation that does not include some of their darker moments. One is included when we see a member split, but there seem to be more things. For that I guess there is the internet. Or maybe a sequel to this? Who knows
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7/10
In search of the separation of church and state
paul-allaer11 May 2019
"Hail Satan?" (2019 release; 95 min.) is a documentary about the Satanic Temple (TST) and its search for the separation of church and state. As the movie opens, we are in "Tallahassee, 2013" where TST is holding a rally on the steps of the Florida statehouse. Hardly anyone is giving it any attention. We are introduced to Lucien, the spokesperson for TST. When TST wants to do a black mass in Boston, the catholic church and community in Boston organizes a massive protest against "these rapists and murderers", while of course the reality is that the Boston catholic church has allowed sexual abuse against young kids for decades and decades... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll jut have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from Penny Lane, who previously brought us "Our Nixon". Here she explores the hypocrisy in certain segments of the population, who are easily riled up by these satanists. Lane along the way brings us a History 101 of satanism. The core of the film goes to looking at the separation of church and state, which TST wants enforced. The segments dealing with the 10 Commandments are instrumental. So this documentary is not quite what I expected it to be, and in fact is likely to make you think about a few things in a way that you might not have expected. Kudos to Lane for that.

"Hail Satan?" premiered at the Sundance festival earlier this yer to positive acclaim, and recently opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended poorly (6 people, including myself). Hopefully this can gain a larger audience as it is released on other platforms. If you like documentaries, or have an interest in issues surrounding the separation of church and state, I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (if you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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10/10
It's a yes from me, dawg
cloudk-5340330 May 2019
Hail Satan? was very informative and educational. It's worth watching whether you're interested in joining the Satanic Temple or just open minded enough to look at things through a different (religious) perspective. It stresses religious equality/freedom for ALL religions, not just Christianity.. I can't wait for this to come out on a streaming site (hey Netflix!) to show all of my family and friends that Satanism is not at ALL what they think it is. Educate yourselves, people. Watch Hail Satan?.
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8/10
Deal with it.
jascoward29 August 2019
If the U.S. wants to proclaim religious freedom and then push Christianity in public, then it's only fair for the Satanists to do the same.
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10/10
Don't be an offended baby
bichbebitter23 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This documentary has nothing to do with Satanism and more about a political movement. The Satanists of the Satanic Temple are leftist atheists. They push to keep the separation between church and state still flowing through America. Religion has no place in Government issues and laws, and the Satanic Temple makes sure that keeps happening. AMERICA isn't a Christian nation. We are a country that was founded on religious freedom. This documentary was serious, but also funny as hell. I would definitely join their movement and proudly call myself a Satanist. Hail Satan 🤘
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10/10
Entertaining and informative
omenfaust31 May 2019
Penny Lane did a great job showing the start of the Satanic Temple. As always there is room for critique but you will never please everyone. I personally enjoyed almost every second of the film even the uncomfortable parts and there are a few. But they are equally matched by hilarious parts. I made devil horns at the screen several times and I am not an audience participation type person nor was it called for. I just felt like it needed to be done. Hail Satan!
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10/10
An eye opening documentary....
playtimecapsule2 June 2019
Ask people if they have ever considered becoming a Satanist and most will answer NO, but if you watch this film with an open mind you will find yourself wondering AM I A SATANIST?

That said, this is NOT a recruitment film and I applaud all involved for allowing a "warts and all" look into the inner working of the group. A well made, informative, and fascinating documentary.

I look forward to seeing more from Director Penny Lane and I look foward to hearing more about TST.
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9/10
Showing the world
momlife-7612810 February 2019
Being a member of The Satanic Temple I applaud Penny for making such a unique and eye opening documentary. Not only does it show what we are all about it shows how we came to be. Born out of necessity The Satanic Temple is tackling subjects such as equality and reproductive rights. Giving a voice to the voiceless and I couldn't be prouder to call myself a Satanist.
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8/10
Another Name for Rationalism?
westsideschl24 July 2019
Occurred to me after watching that though out history if you want to stay in power create an enemy. So if you want your God to be #1 be sure he (she) has an adversary; an anti. One thing religions have in common is obedience - no thinking for yourself allowed.

Admittedly Satan has gotten a lot of bad press/reviews & even stories - print, movie, allegory over the past long while. Thus begins our tale of snake, Eve & apple.

So who/what is the new Satan? Well, they're The Satanic Temple w/small groups totally tens of thousands around the world. One goal is separation of church & state allowing all religions equal opportunity for expression. Another is promoting free thinking. Their tenants include: Compassion for all creatures; justice should be foremost; each of us commands our own bodies; respect other's freedoms; science factuality should be a part of your beliefs; mistakes are correctable; compassion, wisdom come first.

The Satanic Temples main adversaries come in the form of Fox News & Catholic Church (their record w/wars, gays, females, trials, priests & kids - not so good). One of Fox friends' vitriolic arguments is that our currency & pledge both reference their God as our national religion, but the Constitution purposefully stays away on that subject. God was added around the accusatory McCarthy era '50s as a counter to Communism.

It was repeatedly suggested in the doc that they should all (as non-Christians) go to Hell, but would that include Gandhi?
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8/10
Despite this movie's title it shows nor says anything blasphemous. The movement, however, uses symbols bound to confuse people to think they are really Satan's followers
JvH4825 February 2019
Saw this at the Rotterdam film festival 2019, where it was part of the Big Screen Competition (but another film got the price). There is nothing blasphemous in this movie, though one could derive it from the title, especially when overlooking the question mark. Nevertheless, this movement gives rise to frequent controversy, as shown in many examples. Such an amount of resistance can be readily expected in a country where "In God we trust" signs are everywhere, on banknotes, in governmental buildings and many other public places. The mere existence of this sentence all over the country, is always the standard argument against The Satanic Temple (TST for short), to point out they have no place in the USA, and even to suggest they are unconstitutional.

The seemingly obvious fact that religion and the existence of God is laid down by the Founding Fathers and hence in the Constitution, proves incorrect as per the talking heads (I did not verify it). The binding role of religion came about in the 1950-ies as a determining (uniting) factor in the days that Communism was deemed something dangerous, the "red scare" as it was perceived at the time. Think of McCarthyism and more such political phases in USA's history. In 1956 US Congress made "In God We Trust" the national motto.

TST fights for separation between religion and state, and they lay their fingers on many aspects of life that are (inadvertenly?) grounded on Christian beliefs. USA may advertise adhering a strict separation between religion and state, in practice it is not. Take for example the prayer in schools, which should also be allowed to be led by someone belonging to a non-Christian belief. Thus, by extension, prayers could also be led by someone from TST. Be that as it may, a negative side effect of this (in my opinion) is that TST outings state that one could also praise Satan in those prayers. This will inevitably lead to uproar, being purposely controversial in its choice of words. So, though their basically proper intentions about separation of religion and state, they also create resistance while bordering on what is allowed versus what is frown upon in "standard" religions. The naming of their TST movement alone is evoking resistance, both from people basically supporting their principles, and (even more so) also by everyone else balking on their name, their rituals, and particularly the "black mass" events they organize.

As a documentary, this movie does a good job in showing many aspects of this movement, regardless of being against them, for them, or somewhere in the middle. As I wrote in previous paragraphs, I see their cause and what they stand for, but their attributes and their outings are deliberately confrontational. This is not really helpful in spreading their word. Each time when Satan is mentioned or when satanic symbols are shown, resistance can be expected, with the result that their actual cause is overlooked and drowned in the upheaval.
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7/10
Hail Satan? shows how divided we have become
Grumpyfish20 April 2019
Hail Satan? is an entertaining ride and shows how divided we have become as a nation. I understand how some might view this film as provocative but honestly its as dark as vanilla ice cream. The real darkness comes from those with pitchforks ready in hand fearing the unknown, the others, maybe our selves. While not the most daring doc I've seen this year, certainly a good one.
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10/10
Humorous and brutally honest
angie-246931 June 2019
This documentary takes an honest look at what our government is not doing for its people and how some really witty and hilarious Americans are fighting for justice over archaic laws and institutions.
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10/10
Excited for this
Nebz27 February 2019
It gives me hope to see people band together and fight injustice. If deluded worshipers get to erect monuments on courthouse steps, then other groups such as the Satanists should have the same privilege.

Hopefully this opens the doors to every religion placing their monuments on the property. Equality for everyone.
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10/10
Thoughtful, comprehensive, fascinating!
axionrising1 June 2019
Having been a member of The Satanic Temple for nearly five years now, I was already quite familiar with all the people and situations discussed in this film. However, this is the first time I've seen anyone describe this organization in such a detailed and comprehensive manner.

The filmmaker did not get bogged down with any of the usual distractions such as documenting the history of Satanism, the differences between organization A vs B, or question the legitimacy of this religion. Rather, this is a fly-on-the-wall type examination of TST from its inception to the present day, highlighting the diverse backgrounds and motivations of several members, both prominent figures and garden variety Templars.

As I sat watching this film with my wife, I observed her wide-eyed captivation and realized what an important function was served by this documentary. Penny Lane has successfully told this fascinating and complicated story in a manner that those previously unfamiliar with the history of modern Satanism will walk away with a fairly comprehensive understanding of not only TST, but the general state of religion as it relates to the broader culture in today's world.

If you're looking for some in-depth knowledge about what Satanism is all about, you won't find that here. However, if you want someone to unpack the significance of religion in our society and why things like Satanism are an important part of that discussion, Hail Satan is a comprehensive and thoughtful documentary which should prove easily digestible (and highly entertaining!) to the casual viewer and seasoned Satanist alike.
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10/10
Well researched documentary
nellieu1 June 2019
Good intro into TST's fight for separation of church and state
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10/10
Hail Satan? Hail Satan!
houstonjosh30 May 2019
A inside look at one of the most controversial political/religious movement in modern America. It is a raw, informative and humors look at The Satanic Temple's rise, questioning and challenging the ongoing encroachment of Theocracy in the US. Open your mind for 95 mins and learn what the TST is about, you will learn while they specifically fight for Satanist, they are also fighting for your rights as well.
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10/10
nothing's wrong with a different point of view
It's frustrating to watch these free thinking and harmless people, fail after fail in their every attempt to convince people theu are NOT violent and on the plus side; they all love theatrics, how cool is that
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9/10
Accomplishes a documentary's main goal: people
dldowning1 June 2019
In my opinion, what sets a good documentary apart from a bad one is the ability to tell the human stories of the people involved. A bad documentary feels like you're doing history homework from high school. It's a list of facts and info. A good documentary gives you the perspective and lets you see through another person's eyes at something that is important to them.

In this way, Hail Satan? is a great success. Penny Lane captures interviews with many members in a way that is genuine. It is organized chronologically that lets you see how these people changed over time as well as how The Satanic Temple changes over time.

Be careful not to judge too quickly. This movie did receive some boycotts from Christian groups but it is not an anti-Christian movie and does not contain blasphemy. Keep an open mind and learn about these people. I found their story heartwarming and they were surprisingly funny at times. Their group, The Satanic Temple, are not devil worshipers and are not evil. How they can be an atheist religion in favor of pluralism and individualism is explained halfway through.

Give it a watch. It had good pacing that kept me entertained throughout.
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10/10
A Fun and Informative Documentary
sonicrocks-7945022 April 2019
I personally think that the comedy in this film is what makes it, it plays into the idea of this shouldn't be a big deal but here we are! The whole movie was fun to watch and taught me a lot of history I didn't know about satanism and the satanic temple. I also believe this film may help it be put into a new light. The stanic Temple are active lgbt supporters, womens rights activits, as well as general good people who just want to help the world become a better place then it is now through charity and Religos equality.
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10/10
AVE SATANAS
wbmh1 June 2019
Thought provoking,honest and humorous. Great film that shows there are some good people in the world fighting the good fight. Can't wait to own a copy!
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10/10
Not what you expect
mikeandchandler23 April 2019
About halfway through, the TST explains who and what they truly are and then the movie earned my 10-star rating. I joined the temple online after seeing it and encourage those who agree with their cause (which is not religion) to join and fight forced Christian rule.
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10/10
Great Documentary
pdssnyder21 April 2019
This documentary really takes a mirror and holds it up to the hypocrisy that Christianity runs America with. Penny Lane does a great job and telling TST's story in a funny and engaging way. You will see how one sided freedom of religion is for Christians and how common misconceptions have been so deeply ingrained that people actually think they are the truth. I can't recommend this movie enough to anybody that wants see things change. You will see reviews from people here that are obviously pet of the Satanic Panic and have never seen the movie and have no clue what they are talking about. Ignore them and See This Movie! You won't be disappointed. Hail satan!
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7/10
A factual review....Worth a watch.
paulmcpartlin-824638 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I don't often write reviews, but I felt compelled after viewing this. The title of the documentary or should I say mocumentary sums it up.

We have a bunch of people who grew sick of the state and its politicians constantly using religion as a political point scoring system. They decided enough was enough... So then cane the problem. How do you fight back??? The answer was pretty easy....

Establish a movement of similarly minded individuals into a collective unit to fight the political status quo.

Unfortunately this is the documentaries undoing... It exposes the The Temple of Satan as nothing more than a bunch of Liberal minded individuals who are sick of politicians using God as vote influencer and winner.

They initially hold a Satan worship speach outside a political hall... It gets some news coverage and snowballs from there to becone something that they struggle to control. They admit their event in Boston was ill thought out.

I started to wonder where was the debauched hedonistic, evil lifestyle that sticks a middle finger up to society and it's rules? With this religion, you won't find it here!!!

The rub here is they don't actually believe in Satan... And they admit it... A news anchor actually states he can smell a fake news story setup. The founder simply smiles.

They said they couldn't think of a better name... Unbelievable, but true (see 60 mins in). Here's where it gets interesting.

They state they don't believe in Satan as a theology!! At this point I was giggling. They have a moral code / tenets... Yep... Satanism with morals...they clean garbage, run clubs, help those affected by homelessness, challenge public policies etc... It's brilliantly obtuse and even subversive... But its not satanism.

The public are missing the point of this documentary... Are they really worshiping Satan as in the question mark in the title??? Or have they stumbled on a great way to start a small, but influencial political uprising? Judge for yourself... It's worth a watch.

Remember, the sign of a good documentary is one that makes you think afterwards.
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8/10
Great documentation
mrdonleone29 September 2019
The Church of Satan: saving us all or sending us to hell??? Worth the personal pondering about; for me as a filmmaker i just like how they made a wonderful documentary out of it, maybe the best around the widely spread concept of Satanism ever.
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10/10
Vital!
louislost1 June 2019
Hail Satan? Speaks with a sense of low key urgency. The movement it has chronicled will be a defining point of our generation. The satanic temple is the future of religion.

Penny lane has done an outstanding job.
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