Hail Satan?

V'19

Hail Satan?

Penny Lane
USA, 2019
Features, 95min, OF

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Hail Satan?

Penny Lane
USA, 2019
Features, 95min, OF

Thu
31
Oct
23:15
Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
Wed
06
Nov
21:00
Metro, Historischer Saal
Cast: 
Jex Blackmore
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Chalice Blythe
Nicholas Crowe
Sal De Ciccio
Cecil B. DeMille
Mike Pence
Sadie Satanas
Sound: 
Taylor Roy
Camera: 
Naiti Gamez
Editor: 
Amy Foote
Aaron Wickenden
Composer: 
Brian McOmber

Production: 
Hard Working Movies
World Sales: 
Magnolia Pictures
Format: 
DCP
Color

If you see crosses turned upside down and men and women posing in black capes, you can be dead sure that Satan is somewhere around. This sinister gathering is obviously an introduction to a hard-boiled investigation on Satanist cults in the US. But in Penny Lane’s witty documentary, things are not quite what they seem. The viewer slowly starts mistrusting the slogans being proclaimed and gets increasingly confused about all these stylishly tattooed, queer-looking guys risking a gay kiss on a tombstone, demanding LGBT-rights, and doing honest community work collecting garbage on the roadside. That’s the moment when the question mark that follows the film title comes to mind. HAIL SATAN? reveals itself to be a buoyant, brilliantly made portrait of a group of atheist political activists defending secularism against a Christian right that claims to be the pillars of society. They use public happenings, radical mottos, subversive fun, and guerilla media tactics to fight back against religious pressure groups. The film somehow seems to join them in this iconoclastic game. When some satanic activists call for the “execution of the president” at a performance and are expelled from the group afterwards, it’s unclear whether the film isn’t equally trying to pull the wool over the viewer’s eyes. (Gunnar Landsgesell)

 

Penny Lane: WE ARE THE LITTLETONS: A TRUE STORY (2004, K), THE ABORTION DIARIES (2005, K), SITTIN’ON A MILLION (2008, K, Ko-Regie), THE COMMONERS (2009, K, Ko-Regie), THE VOYAGERS (2010, K), OUR NIXON (2013), NUTS! (2016), JUST ADD WATER: THE STORY OF THE AMAZING LIVE SEA-MONKEYS (2016, K), NORMAL APPEARANCES (2017, K), THE PAIN OF OTHERS (2018), NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS (2018, K)