“Hail Satan?” director Penny Lane and Satanic Temple co-founder and spokesperson Lucien Greaves totally expect the documentary to provoke a backlash — but Greaves has received no hate mail so far.
“We’ve only had three screenings, so I’m sure it’s coming,” Lane told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven at the Sundance Film Festival. “But all they get is backlash!”
Greaves added: “This is the least controversial, high-profile thing that’s ever happened to the Satanic Temple. So far, I haven’t gotten hate mail over the documentary.”
With unprecedented access, “Hail Satan?” traces the rise of The Satanic Temple, and activist group whose modus operandi is to advance Satanism as a religion deserving equal time with Christianity, in order to call attention to the un-Constitutionality of Christianity in public spaces. Their real goal is to make the case that things like the Ten Commandments have no business on government grounds. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will hit theaters in spring 2019.
“‘Hail Satan?’ is really the origin story of the Satanic Temple, so it covers the first six years of the organization and it shows how something that started as something as a prank, a joke, a smart idea, but really evolves very quickly into a legitimate religious movement and a really smart politically active campaign,” explained Lane.
The documentary showcases how quickly the movement has grown in the past years, with the organization’s reach spanning further than the U.S. borders.
“As soon as people hear about this, there is a certain population of people who immediately, intuitively grasp it,” Greaves added. “They have an understanding of the mythology of Satan. They understand why that resonates. It’s still powerful for them as a metaphor and they understand the power of that being invoked against religious tyranny, arbitrary authority, and they see what we’re doing and it puts it all on the context that’s readily available and understandable to a certain crowd… once these people find out what we’re doing, they come to us in large numbers and we’re seeing the potential for how large those numbers are. When a film like this gets this kind of attention, we’re going to see that much more people finding out about it.”
Watch the video above.