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15 Best Movies Of 2019 (So Far)

14. Hail Satan?

Magnolia Pictures

The documentary industry these days is a fertile ground for some of the most compelling story-telling being produced in film. Advances in technology have helped, but there just seems to be a more precise art in telling real stories and in a world lost to fake news, having something tangibly "real" to hold onto is not to be undervalued.

In Hail Satan? Penny Lane turns her lens on members of The Satanic Temple, an ostensibly religious group (not the far older Church of Satan) whose mission is fundamentally ideological, rather than evangelical. Their agenda is to separate church and state and keep the divide open, turning up like dark superheroes to challenge official uses of state funds to push religious agendas.

They're not about worshipping the actual devil as they are a punk organisation aimed as religious freedom and this compelling documentary is anchored by a great, important story but made with a deftness that never gets into preaching.

[Simon Gallagher]

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