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  1. Andrew

    Hail Satan?

    So this is my favorite new documentary of 2019 so far. Director Penny Lane shows great skill in storytelling, editing, comic timing, and music selection in narrating the rise of the Satanic Temple (TST). I normally don't think of documentaries as a comic medium, but this film is very funny. And from my limited interactions with the subjects of the documentary (one of the chaps featured briefly in the film is a friend of mine on Facebook and a co-writer at Patheos Nonreligious), they feel they were fairly represented. No doubt, the subject matter is an aversive one for many participants here, but I suspect many who approach the film open-minded will be surprised in a good way. First, those here who are politically left of center and/or are horrified by the ascendance of the Evangelical-Republican-Capitalist industrial complex in America will see that they have a political ally in TST. Second, those interested in the emergence of new religions will likely be engaged by this profile of a new religion growing from a few dudes in Tallahassee to 300K members worldwide. Third, those like me who lived their adolescence through the Satanic Panic may find this film's take on this phenomenon instructive. (Also, I didn't know until doing research before seeing this film that TST is non-theistic and non-supernatural, employing God and Satan as storytelling metaphors. The film does a good job in laying this out, though Lane could've been clearer in distinguishing TST from Satanic groups that do believe in a literal Prince of Darkness.) This was also a gratifying film critic milestone for me, as I believe it's the first time a director has tweeted a link to my review. Here it is: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/04/full-frame-dispatch-2-hail-satan/
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