Jean-Claude Carrière is one of the unsung heroes of postwar arthouse cinema. Since teaming with comic maestro Pierre Etaix on the 1961 short, Rupture, the 87 year-old screenwriter has amassed almost 150 credits in working with some of Europe's finest film-makers. Despite winning an Oscar with Etaix for Heureux Anniversaire (1962). Carrière's most enduring collaboration was with Luis Buñuel. on such landmark features as Belle de Jour (1967) and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972). But he also tackled Günter Grass's The Tin Drum for Volker Schlöndorff's Oscar-winning 1979 adaptation and tamed Milan Kundera's supposedly unfilmable The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) for Philip Kaufman. Along the way, Carrière has liaised with Louis Malle, Andrzej Wajda, Jean-Luc Godard, Nagisa Oshima and Miloš Forman. In 2017, he co-wrote Lover For a Day with Philippe Garrel and he has now made it a father-son double by joining forces with actor Louis Garrel for his sophomore directorial outing, A Faithful Man. 

Abel (Louis Garrel) and Marianne (Laetita Casta) have been living together for three years. One morning, she informs him that she is pregnant by his friend Paul and is going to marry him to please his parents. She apologises for only giving Abel 10 days to find alternative accommodation and is grateful to him for taking the news so well. In fact, he falls down the stairs in shock and is given a tissue for his cut lip by Paul's 13 year-old sister. Eve (Diane Courseille). But he realises her mind is made up and that he has no option but to move on. 

He becomes a television journalist and is surprised to hear, some eight or nine years later, that Paul has died in his sleep. Abel attends the funeral and sees Marianne with her son, Joseph (Joseph Engel). At the graveside, he wonders if Marianne has ever thought about him since they last met. But he scarcely notices Eve (Lily-Rose Depp), whose teenage crush has clearly intensified, as she shoots an envious glare at Marianne when she accepts a lift home. 

Despite being distraught at losing her husband, she decides to accept Abel's invitation to lunch and they meet in one of their old haunts a fortnight later. They are amused by the fact that the waitress (Kiara Carrière) shakes her head at every suggestion the owner (Bakary Sangaré) makes about the specials and this helps break the ice after so long apart. Marianne asks Abel home for coffee and he is taken aback when Joseph casually informs him that his mother had poisoned Paul and had slept with Dr Pivoine (Vladislav Galard) to prevent the truth coming out in an autopsy. 

Meanwhile, Eve takes up the story (each principal takes turns at narrating) and we flashback to her youth, when she used to stalk Abel to take pictures on her phone that she gazed at under the sheets at night. She convinced herself that they were a couple and, one day, had to walk home from the suburbs after she had sneaked into the backseat of his car. In voiceover, she freely admits that she hates Marianne for stealing Abel from her and then forcing him to drop out of their lives by marrying her brother. So, she is overjoyed when she bumps into Abel in the street and he not only notices how grown up she is, but he also gives her his scarf because she's shivering. 

While Eve keeps hoping that Marianne will die suddenly and leave her a clear path to seducing Abel, he decides to ask Pivoine about Paul's heart attack. He reassures him that it was natural, if sudden, and laughs off Joseph's suggestions of foul play. Pivoine also swears he has no interest in Marianne because he's gay, a claim she disputes when Abel mentions his visit during a trip to the cinema to see Lewis Milestone's The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). She is puzzled why Abel went to see Pivoine and how his sexuality came up in conversation. But she reveals that Pivoine once made a pass at her and Joseph (who is eavesdropping on the whispered conversation) demands to know why the doctor would lie. 

Joseph correctly identifies the killer in the film and Marianne explains that he has been obsessed with cop shows since he was a boy. Back at the flat, Joseph accuses Abel of being naive for believing Pivoine's fib. But, when he goes to bed, Marianne tells Abel that he had often argued with Paul, who wanted to send him to boarding school. Moreover, she encourages Abel to flirt with her and they tumble in to bed. The next morning, as she leaves for work (she's an adviser to the prime minister), Marianne warns Abel not to believe Joseph's murder theories, as he has concocted them to scare him away because he would rather have his mother to himself. 

Time passes and Abel moves in with Marianne. Eve is jealous and meets Joseph out of school to quiz him about the state of the relationship. She is shocked when he produces an earpiece so she can listen to the recordings he has made of the pair in bed. But she is also reassured by his insistence that they rarely have sex and he wishes his mother would make Abel leave. Indeed, when Abel seeks his permission to propose to Marianne, Joseph makes it clear that he would not approve of her re-marrying, as he doesn't want to share her affection. 

Hurt by Joseph's frankness, Abel asks Marianne how she can be so certain about his paternity. She becomes tearful, as she confesses that she had loved Paul and Abel equally and had tossed a coin to see who would father her child. While she was grateful that Paul had never questioned that Joseph was his son, Marianne had often cursed fate because she would have preferred to have borne Abel's baby. But, while she now seems happy with Abel, she recognises the truth of Eve's brusque assertion that she didn't really love him and should do the decent thing and let her have him. 

This unexpected confrontation on the street is followed by an equally frank exchange in the foyer at Abel's TV studio, as Eve (wearing scarlet lipstick) reveals that she has declared war on Marianne and intends to win. Unsurprisingly, Abel is as blindsided by this revelation as he was by Joseph's admission that he wants to kill him. But he is even more perplexed when Marianne wakes him in the middle of the night to reveal her plan to let him sleep with Eve to see if they are suited to one another. Bleary eyed, Abel wonders what Marianne hopes to achieve by running the risk that they could break up. But she insists she knows he is curious about Eve and that it would be best for everyone if he scratched the itch. However, she makes him promise not to tell Eve that the experiment was her idea, as it wouldn't be elegant. 

Somewhat befuddled. Abel packs his bags and is greeted with a wry smile by Marianne when he points out that it would be best if he moved in with Eve rather than skulked home after sleeping with her. When he is nettled by the fact Marianne has no qualms with this arrangement, Abel asks if she already has somebody lined up to take his place and she is amused by his insecurity. By contrast, Joseph is indifferent to his departure and only notices the fact that Abel is wearing a pair of his father's old shoes.

Despite being an estate agent, Eve can only afford a bijou bedsit and there's barely enough room for Abel's stuff. She is coy when they first make love, but is pleased to win the battle without having to put up a fight. But the reality proves less enticing than the dream, as she resents having to abandon her prolonged adolescence and is unnerved by the notion that she will be stuck with Abel when he grows old. In voiceover, she even admits that she had better sex fantasising about him than in having him to herself. Abel is also frustrated and tries calling Marianne while flat hunting with Eve. She ignores his calls, however, as she brushes off the persistent requests of her assistant (Dali Benssalah) for a date. 

Feeling old when out with Eve's friends, Abel misses Joseph and calls round at his school to catch a glimpse of him. However, he is whisked away by Marianne, who doesn't even turn to look at him. When he returns from a trip abroad, Abel is pleased by the warmth of Eve's welcome. But, as they cuddle, she blurts out that being alone had done her good and he realises that their relationship is never going to work. Yet, no one makes a move to end things and it's only when Joseph plays his recording of Marianne urging Abel to sleep with her that Eve summons the nerve to break up. 

Rather than telling him to his face, however, she merely leave his belongings piled up outside the door and he has to struggle downstairs with his baggage. Abel rushes round to Marianne's office, only to discover she's at the Senate. Using his press pass, he gets past the gendarmes on the door. But he is pinned down by security guards when he tries to get into the inner sanctum and he looks up from the floor to see Marianne's shoes. She gives him a forgiving smile and they agree not to talk about the Eve episode. While out at a café, however (where they see Poivine with a woman), Marianne gets a call from school to say that Joseph has disappeared. They search frantically before Eve suggests trying the cemetery. She arrives in time to see Marianne and Abel stand either side of Joseph at the foot of Paul's grave, as the boy reaches out to clasp Abel's hand. 

Does this imply that Joseph has known all along that Abel is his father or is it merely an act of acceptance that the time has come for everyone to put the past to bed and move on? Either way, it's a fitting way for a fascinating film to end - although there's more intrigue in the closing credits, as Garrel thanks fellow directors Michel Hazanavicius, Noémie Lvosky, Rebecca Zlotowski and Arnaud Desplechin by name, along with his mother, Brigitte Sy. But there's no mention of his father, whose work this low-key drama resembles in almost every regard - although there are also hints of François Truffaut's Stolen Kisses (1968) and Manoel De Oliveira's Belle toujours (2006), which was an unofficial sequel to Belle de Jour, and Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl (2009).

What enthralls while watching the action is the ease of the rapport between Garrel and Laetita Casta (who are an item off screen) and how closely Lily-Rose Depp resembles parents Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. Yet, all three are upstaged by Joseph Engel, whose intensely enigmatic performance recalls that of Victor Ezefis, as another boy in search of a father in Eugéne Green's The Son of Joseph (2016).

Blessed with Jean Rabasse's slyly contrasting interiors, Irina Lubtchansky's relaxed views of Paris and Philippe Sarde's deft score, Garrel directs succinctly in following up his debut, Two Friends (2015). There's one pleasingly nouvelle vaguean moment when Depp opens Garrel's car door during a recollection, only to remember that it should be her younger self in the shot and we cut away to Diane Courseille taking over the scene. Some may quibble about the amount of voiceover required to tell a story running a mere 75 minutes. But Garrel and Carrière cleverly use the narration to switch perspectives and keep the audience abreast of the emotional toll that the knowingly contrived events are having on such mischievously cine-Gallic characters. 

A stint with maverick producer Roger Corman shaped the early career of Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson. Indeed, some of the indie icon's crew worked on the 23 year-old's debut feature, Ties (1994). He followed this with the little-seen thriller, The Ticking Man (2003), and its 2005 sequel, Retribution. But he switched focus after visiting the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to make the cross-racial romantic thriller, Rez Bomb (2008). Now, following the documentary, A Thunder-Being Nation (2012), and the TV series, The Hub (2016), Simpson returns to Pine Ridge for Neither Wolf Nor Dog, an adaptation of Kent Nerburn's award-winning account of his encounter with the Lakota elder who commissioned him to write a book about his life and lore. 

While Kent Nerburn (Christopher Sweeney) is telling son Nick (Colton Cook) about the benefits of looking after a faithful truck, he gets a phone call from Wenonah (Roseanne Supernault) asking him to drive 400 miles from Minnesota to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to meet her nonagenarian grandfather, Dan (Dave Bald Eagle). As his father has just died and wife Louise (Sarah Sido) has had to visit her ailing sister, Nerburn has no intention of leaving home. But, having sorted through some of his late father's possessions and found a Red Cross tabard bearing the words `Service Before Self' stencilled on it, Nerburn decides to seek out the old man who had been impressed by his work in compiling stories about the Red Lake Indians for the book, To Walk the Red Road.

A neatly cross-cut sequence contrasting Wenonah and Nerburn's coffee-making techniques presages a driving montage giving the front-seat perspective of the road ahead, as Nerburn arrives at the reservation trading post, where a man playing basketball (Yellow Pony Frank Pettibone) directs him to Dan's shack, which has an outside privy. He's greeted by the old man with a mug of day-old coffee and lots of questions about his Red Lake book and why the tribal elders had allowed the children to trust a white man. Dan shows Nerburn a photograph of his dead son and makes him read some of the aphorisms from a stack of papers stored in a cardboard box. Nerburn is taken with the simple wisdom and agrees to look through the notes in his poky motel room. 

When he reads his first draft to Dan, he dozes off at the table and Wenonah is so bored by Nerburn's faux Indianese that she starts looking at her phone. Grouchy neighbour Grover (Richard Ray Whitman) is even less impressed and he tells Nerburn to let Dan speak for himself rather than imposing a cornball verbosity upon him that sounds like something from a cheap Western movie. As he hadn't told Louise that he was going to South Dakota, Nerburn is all set to cut his losses before she gets home. But Dan takes him to visit Grover, who orders him to set light to the box of papers and urges Nerburn to learn to listen so that he might be able to see. 

Struggling to emerge from his saintly father's shadow, Nerburn writes Dan a letter of apology. But he's on a trip with Grover when he calls to deliver it and Wenonah gives him an earful about his sense of self-pity in showing him photographs of her six year-old grandfather at the church school where he was beaten for speaking in his native language and had to suffer the indignity of having his tribal clothing burnt by the priests and nuns. Moreover, he almost died from an infection caused by a sickening punishment he suffered after wetting the bed. 

Feeling sheepish about bellyaching about his discomfort at the motel, Nerburn goes searching for Dan, only for his truck to break down. Pulling into a garage with a sign proclaiming `stuff fixed', Nerburn entrusts his vehicle to Jumbo (Harlen Standing Bear, Sr.) an obese bear of a man whose belly hangs out of the bottom of his t-shirt. His laconic responses are echoed by Dan's droll assertion that he spotted the smoke signals being given off by Nerburn's engine and he offers him a lift in Grover's car. 

Sharing the backseat with Dan's old dog, Fatback, Nerburn is driven across the reservation and agrees to let Dan be his guide. As darkness falls, he confesses to Grover that he's not sure he's the right man for the job, but made a promise to his father to be of service. Grover sympathises that vows made to the dead are the toughest to keep, but he is glad Nerburn isn't an ageing hippie in search of enlightenment or a New Age do-gooder, as they come to exploit rather than learn. But, even though he wants to help Dan leave his last testament, Nerburn is racked by his inferiority complex. 

Next morning, they wander into an abandoned homestead and Nerburn feels sad that the economic situation has done for so many decent settlers. But Dan and Grover remind him that they drove the Native Americans off the land on the orders of the Washington government and then tried to impose themselves on the soil rather than working with it. According to them, land should be for everyone, like water and the air, and they feel little pity for the victims of a recession. Grover also loses patience when they visit a small museum and asks the curator (Josee Bald Eagle) why there are Lakota bones in a display case. She tries to ignore him, but realises her error when she invites Nerburn to return for the celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the first settlers. In retaliation, Grover scrawls `The Landlord' in the visitors book and rants about getting a bulldozer to dig up a white cemetery and put some of their bones on public display. 

Stopping for coffee, the trio are embarrassed when alcoholic Billy (Zahn McClarnon) tries to sell Nerburn a trinket to raise some cash. When the waitress refuses to serve Billy and girlfriend Barbara (Wambli Bear Runner), they make a noisy exit and Nerburn is surprised when Grover curses Billy for being too weak to fight his demons without the help of a bottle. When he protests that the man has a disease, Grover snaps that everyone has an excuse to hide behind and lets Nerburn know that he thinks Dan is making a mistake in trusting him. 

Finding Billy and Barbara sitting outside the café, Grover offers them cigarettes and is affronted when Nerburn declines because he doesn't smoke. He also takes exception when Nerburn asks the couple where they're from and makes the assumption they are Sitting Bull's people when they mention Fort Yates. Offended by his remark, Barbara hauls Billy away and Grover testily explains that families were divided over supporting the Hunkpapa Lakota in the same way whites were during the Civil War and suggests that Nerburn does a lot less talking and a good deal more listening if he is to learn anything from their journey. 

Once again, Nerburn is ready to quit, but Dan coaxes him back into the car and they drive on. When he hands over his letter of resignation, however, Dan accuses Nerburn of being a coward and he confides to Louise (when he finally finds a working phone) that there is nothing more suspect than a white man telling an old Indian's story. They have stopped for the night with Annie (Dawn Little Sky), who gives Nerburn a bowl of soup that he pushes away after Grover jokes about it being made from a dead dog. 

They are joined the next morning by Wenonah's sister, Danelle (also Roseanne Supernault), and her husband, Delvin (Tatanka Means). While helping the latter with a fence post, Nerburn explains his mission and Danelle demands to know what happened to the box of papers from Dan's shack. She is cross with Grover for burning them, as they had been written by her father before he had been murdered with his wife. Danelle reveals that her grandmother was white, but couldn't stand living on the reservation and abandoned her son for Dan to raise alone. Distraught at being jilted, Dan had taken to drink and the boy had been raised by social services. He had endured taunts and bullying and had returned home intent on getting on to his father's good side so he would never be sent away again. 

As Dan is illiterate, his son had written the notes that Nerburn had read and he had also promised his father that he would help him realise the dream of publishing a book to help outsiders gain a better understanding of First American life. Danelle pleads with Nerburn not to hurt her grandpa and he feels again the burden of being the old man's last hope. Driving on, Dan reflects on the tough time that his half-breed child had been forced to endure because he was deemed `neither wolf not dog' by his neighbours.

When they stop by a derelict church, Dan asks why white folks are so devoted to Jesus Christ, when he was just a man who lived and died. Abraham Lincoln was the same and, yet, while Christ's every word impacts upon everyday existence in America, people only care about the facts of Lincoln's life rather than what he thought or said. They pull over to ride out a sudden and ferocious storm and Dan tests Nerburn to see if he had noticed the wind direction. When he rightly identifies that it came from the north, Dan decides that he is ready to learn the primary lesson of their trip and instructs Grover to take them to Wounded Knee. 

Pulling up short of the site of the massacre, Grover explains how the Lakota tribes had fled following the death of Sitting Bull and had been camping near the creek when the US Army sent in the Cavalry to disarm the fugitives. It was 29 December 1890 and the men, women and children were hungry and cold. But they were shown no mercy and Dan wonders why the white men had to behave so brutally. In addition to killing around 300 in the showdown, the soldiers also slaughtered the buffalo so that there was nothing for the survivors to eat. As Nerburn fights back tears of shame, Dan apologises for not being able to forgive and hopes that future generations will be able to come to peace with the fate of their ancestors. 

On reaching the memorial, Dan reminds Nerburn that he is walking on a grave and he reveals that his own kinfolk perished in the atrocity, which was sparked by an accidental shot when a soldier tried to wrest a rifle out of a young brave's hand. Nerburn struggles to understand why so many trained troops lost their discipline in such a barbaric manner and apologises on behalf of his race. He even questions whether his own son has the right to live without the stain of guilt because he benefits from the resources that have been stolen from the Native Americans without consideration for the ecological consequences of their extraction. Dan is touched that Nerburn has seen the light and hopes that he can make his people see the error of their ways and the effects they continue to have on those who were dispossessed and humiliated. 

As they approach home, Nerburn spots his truck speeding along a parallel track and realises that Jumbo is at the wheel. He is tucking into a large plate of food when they pull up at the garage and Nerburn is appalled by the fag ends in the dashboard ashtray and the amount of rubbish on the floor. However, he is aware that Jumbo has been part of the ruse to get him alone with Dan in Grover's car and slips him a large tip for his trouble. He is repaid when Dan gives him the last item that his son had carved before his death and he promises to do his best to live up to his expectations, as he bids the old man farewell. 

Some time later, Wenonah receives a copy of Nerburn's book in the post. She shows it to Dan, but he seems unconcerned by what it says, as he trusts that Nerburn will have done a good job. Instead, he takes the tome and slips it under the wobbly leg of his table and shoots his granddaughter a mischievous grin. 

Dave Bald Eagle was 95 when he made the last of his four films. Despite being frail, he was determined to complete the shoot and improvised his speech at the Wounded Knee monument. His performance dominates this poignant and often powerful picture, but Richard Ray Whitman also shows well as Grover, as does Canadian actress Roseanne Supernault as sisters Wenonah and Danelle. But don't overlook Christopher Sweeney, who plays co-scenarist Kent Nerburn with an affecting mix of self-doubt and humility.

A former Marine who had won a Silver Star during the Gulf War, Sweeney had much in common with Bald Eagle, who had been wounded while parachuting into Normandy on D-Day. Whitman saw action of another kind, as he had stood beside Tatanka Means's famous actor father, Russell Means, during the showdown at Wounded Knee in 1973 after Native American nationalists had rallied to Marlon Brando's gesture of solidarity in refusing his Oscar for Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972). Indeed, it had been Russell Means who had first persuaded Simpson to do his bit for Native American in 1999, when he asked him to film a series of speaking engagements after Simpson had accompanied the Sioux Ghost Shirt that was being repatriated by Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This invitation started the 13-year shoot that culminated in A Thunder-Being Nation , which, like Rez Bomb, is available to view on Vimeo.

Acting as his own cinematographer and editor, Simpson makes the most of the rugged Pine Ridge landscape, which seems to reverberate with the echoes of history. He and Nerburn also avoid sentimentality in the dialogue describing the crimes committed against the First Nations, while leaving the audience in no doubt that the prejudice that provoked them has scarcely abated. Simpson has spent the last three years touring the film around the world and his dedication to the project and the cause it espouses is to be thoroughly commended.

Fortysomething Penny Lane is gradually emerging as one of the leading lights of American actuality. She sifted through the Super 8 home movies filmed by President Richard Nixon's inner circle for Our Nixon (2012), while she drew on Pope Brock's biography of John Romulus Brinkley for the animated curio, Nuts! (2016), to reveal how, a century ago, a bogus doctor claimed to be able to cure impotence through the xenotransplantation of goat testicles. Lane now turns her attention to the antics and aspirations of America's newest nontheist religion, The Satanic Temple. While more conventional in its methodology than its predecessors, Hail Satan? amusingly holds up a mirror to show the USA's religious right in all its pompous, hypocritical absurdity.

In Tallahassee in 2013, an unnamed hooded man (actually actor Michael Wiener) speaks outside the Florida state capitol. He praises Governor Rick Scott's bid to bring prayer back to schools because opening the door to Christ also opens the door to Satan. The press at the sparsely attended event are sceptical and ask if this is a hoax, especially when the speaker (who sports a pair of black goat horns on his head) concludes with a flash of light emanating from a sparking device held beneath his cape in his left hand. 

In blacked out interviews, co-founder Malcolm Jarry explains how he came up with the name of The Satanic Temple and original collaborator Nicholas Crowe recalls his excitement at the movement becoming national news after the Scott rally. Shortly afterwards, Wiener was replaced by Lucien Greaves, whose appearance is made all the more striking by a milked-over right eye. However, he quickly grew into the role and became such an authentic voice for the Temple that he was able to treat questions on Fox News with a certain degree of disdain. 

Another headline-grabbing stunt saw the Temple take on Fred Phelps, a homophobic preacher from Westboro, New York, by holding a Pink Mass over the grave of his late mother so that she would become lesbian in the afterlife. Crowe claims that he got the idea from the Mormon concept of baptising the dead (among its converts are Elvis Presley, Adolf Hitler, Anne Frank and Joan of Arc) and the notion in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) that an angel gets its wings each time a bell rings. During the rite, same sex couples kiss over the grave. But Greaves makes the mistake of teabagging the headstone and has to insist that there is no such thing as negative publicity when the press take him to task.

Unable to resist the temptation, the group sets up its headquarters in Salem, Massachusetts and paints a white house black. Greaves shows Lane and her crew around the offices and the gift shop, where it will be possible to purchase Satanic memorabilia. He avers that the Satanic Temple is taking a stand to prevent America from becoming a Christian nation when it should be pluralist and secular. Indeed, he insists that the movement is more about protest and subversion than evil.

However, the founders have to admit to not being the progenitors of modern Satanism and we flashback to meet Anton LaVey (last seen in P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes's 2017 documentary, Mansfield 66/67) and his First Church of Satanism. Author Jesper Aagard Petersen (The Invention of Satanism) suggests that LaVey was never political. But he did show that Satanism was something that people readily embraced rather than having it forced upon them, as is the case in the clip of Barbara Shelley in Mario Bava's Black Sunday (1960). We see footage of LaVey talking with his disciples and performing ceremonies, as Petersen points out that the Temple is more political in its challenge to the drift towards theocracy in the post-millennial United States.

The scene shifts to Detroit to introduce Jex Blackmore, as she leads the local Temple in a ritual with naked women and wine. She also claims that they are activists for a better society rather than anything conventionally demonic. Blackmore recalls Eve's Original Sin in the Garden of Eden and claims that this was an act of liberation not transgression, as the notion that humanity is not entitled to knowledge is a repressive con trick. On discovering the Temple, Blackmore came to believe that, just as Satan confronted God, it's a Satanist's duty to expose injustice and corruption as an act of faith. 

Blackmore was involved in the Black Mass planned for the Harvard University campus in 2014, which became nationwide news when the Archdiocese of Boston claimed it should be cancelled because it was akin to a Ku Klux Klan meeting or a minstrel show. Greaves milked the publicity and Blackmore rallied the local punks. But a stand-off was avoided when Harvard withdrew permission for the event and the mass was ultimately celebrated in a comedy club above the Hong Kong restaurant. Despite the anti-climax, Crowe still remembers waking the next day and thinking how dare the Catholic Church call the Temple sinful when it had hidden decades of abuse by its own priests. Looking back, he believes it was this realisation that prompted him to become a committed Satanist.

Jay D. Wexler, Professor of Law at Boston University, is asked about the Ten Commandments plaque outside the state capitol in Oklahoma and he declares it to be a religious statement on what is supposed to be secular ground. Greaves and Jarry were also outraged by this breach of the supposed separation of church and state and started making crowd-sourcing plans for a giant statue of Baphomet, with two children gazing up at it, to be placed next to the offending plinth. 

Naturally, there was an enormous media backlash, especially when it was revealed that the inspiration for the torso was Iggy Pop. But, as we see footage of the statue being made (with the artist's face being pixellated), Greaves and Jarry argue their case with some cogency. The former claims that they were merely seeking to give the state legislature a civics lesson rather than extending a middle finger in the direction of the Evangelical Right. Thus, when the Commandments were removed, Greaves insisted that this was a victory for pluralism and democracy rather than Satanic evil.

The showdown prompted the founding of Temple chapters in New York, London and Stockholm. We meet Sadie Satanis from Santa Cruz, who declares that Satanism is providing the more effective bulwark to Christianity in modern America. We hear personal testimonies from Lynita Killen. Chalice Blythe and Wonka from Arizona, Eve Vulgaris from Atlanta and Shiva Honey from Detroit, who mostly came from deeply religious backgrounds, like the bow-tied Mason Hargett from Arkansas and former Kentucky Sunday School teacher, Detryck Von Doom. As we learn that membership has risen from three to 50,000, Lanzifer Longinus from San Marcos recalls going to see Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982) on a school trip and being told by his history teacher that Gandhi (who has been converted by the Mormons, by the way, along with Princess Diana and Pope John Paul II) went to Hell because he wasn't a Christian.

Now on a roll, the Temple took exception to the invocation that was said before council meetings in Phoenix, Arizona. As this was frequently of a religious nature, attorney Stu De Haan and radio personality Michelle Shortt applied to give a Satanic statement and were somewhat surprised to have their proposal accepted. Such was the outcry, however that attempts were made to ban them from speaking and to change the law to prevent non-Phoenicians from delivering the prayer. Wise counsel prevailed among the legal advisers, but De Haan and Shortt decided not to attend in person after receiving death threats. However, we get to see snippets from some of the speeches made against their visit, some of which were hysterical and others plain bigoted and De Haan feels rightly proud that he helped expose this line of thinking in American society.

Our next stop is Little Rock, Arkansas, where state senator and former Tea Party supporter Jason Rapert calls for the erection of a Ten Commandments monument because `In God We Trust' is the US motto (and is on its currency), while `One Nation Under God' is part of the pledge of allegiance. Rapert feels they are a reminder of the roots of American law. But local man Mason Hargett disagreed and Greaves answered his call to push for a Baphomet statue to stand alongside it. He claims that the Commandments are not enshrined in any constitutional documents, whereas the right to equality and freedom of speech are. Kevin Kruse, Professor of History at Harvard, points out that the Founding Fathers strove to prevent America from becoming a religious state and notes that it was only during the Cold War, when Billy Graham began evangelising against the godless Soviet Union, that America began to think of itself as a Christian state. Only then was `Under God' added to the pledge and to banknotes and Kruse states that it was only in this moment that religion became central to who most Americans thought they were.

The Satanic Temple next descended upon Portland, Oregon to start up After School Satan in order to counter Christian after school clubs. We see Greaves watching kids working on The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities. He recalls the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, when TV shows warned that games like Dungeons and Dragons trained young minds to accept evil. Detroit member Hollow Axis doesn't believe this to be the case and similarly dismisses the demonising of Heavy Metal by the likes of DJ Chris Edmonds, who specialised in finding subliminal messages by playing songs backwards. Greaves and Axis suggest that the real evil was perpetrated by the witch-hunters, who sought to ruin lives by making accusations about nefarious practices involving children and cannibalism at a time when the Catholic Church was covering up systemic crimes by its clergy. 

As there has never been an apology for this fallacious charges - as there had been after the Salem Witch Trials - Greaves believes that he has a duty to keep holding the Establishment to account and demonstrating that its accusations are baseless. Furthermore, we see evidence of the Satanic Temple doing charity work, with Siri Sanguine recalling a blood drive in Seattle, while we see donations of socks and sanitary towels, as well as litter collection initiatives (using tridents, of course). As the number of chapters increased and more good deeds were promoted, a National Council was established. Shiva Honey, William Morrison and Kym Laroux sit on this body to ensure that all chapters are singing from the same hymn sheet. 

While the Council wants protests to be agreed in advance by the authorities to prevent accusations of lawlessness, Blackmore feels that there has to be a more aggressive element of transgression. She explains how she turns Christians symbols and rituals in on themselves in a bid to destroy their oppressive power. She also reveals how they came up with the idea of fetish babies to counter pro-Life protests, as they revere the foetus in such an unnatural way that they decided to expose their extremism through satire.  

According to the Temple, the media has a problem with modern Satanism because so few members believe in the Devil in the traditional Rosemary's Baby way. We see the likes of Tucker Carlson and Bill O'Reilly mocking Satanists for not having a core deity. But America Darling Girl suggests it riles opponents that they can't rely on stock prejudices in order to attack the Satanic Temple. De Haan insists that they are not atheists because this schemata defines what you are not rather than what you are. Petersen proffers that they are post-Christian rather than anti-Christian and this also confuses their adversaries. 

In order to give his cohorts a unifying sense of values, Greaves devised the Seven Tenets and various members recite them (examples include `the freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend' and `one should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs'), as Hargett states that they are more morally grounded and relevant than the Ten Commandments. Speaking of which, Rapert (who is a dead ringer for David Brent from The Office) had to endure the humiliation of his monument being moved to the rear of the capitol, only for it to be demolished that very night by Christian Michael Reed, who drove his car into the stonework to support the separation of church and state. 

Naturally, Rapert blamed the Satanic Temple and vowed to rebuild. However, Wexler amusingly reveals that the majority of these supposedly sacrosanct edifices were distributed by Paramount Pictures to promote Cecil B. DeMille's biblical epic, The Ten Commandments (1956). We see newsreel footage of Charlton Heston (who played Moses in the film) unveiling one with due solemnity and it's fitting that the sponsor offering to replace the smashed stone is a movie company called Pure Flix, which produced Harold Cronk's God's Not Dead (2014), with Kevin Sorbo, as well as the 2016 sequel, God's Not Dead 2, which was made in Little Rock with Melissa Joan Hart and Pat Boone.

Hargett is still hoping, however, that the Baphomet statue can stand alongside the resurrected Ten Commandments. He would also happily see a Buddha there, too, in order to demonstrate the state's commitment to pluralism. As we see Heston's Moses set about the golden idol created by Edward G. Robinson while he was receiving the tablets on Mount Sinai, Hargett proclaims it's that time the marginalised and the maligned were given a voice and a symbol to show that they had not been forgotten by those in power. 

Following the example of the staff at the Christian Hobby Lobby chain - who had challenged Obamacare in the courts because of its support for contraception - the Satanic Temple took on the State of Missouri over abortion rites and sued the governor for a leaflet that claimed life begins at conception. While this suit moves inexorably through the system and eats away at resources, Morrison reveals that Blackmore has taken the Detroit chapter down an unacceptable route. We see her calling for civil disobedience and the death of the president and Morrison explains that this breaches their policy of non-violence. Blackmore is expelled and preens at having been too extreme for the hierarchy. But she also regrets that the Satanic Temple has become so institutionalised and scared of the law that it has abnegated its core responsibilities. 

Back in Little Rock, Rapert gets his Commandments slab restored to the front of the capitol and Greaves and De Haan denounce him for being part of a concerted effort by the religious right to block LGBTQ+ rights and abortion legislation. They also claim that the rise of pressure groups lobbying for Commandment statues across the 50 states provides positive proof of Christian supremacy in action and they worry that the Evangelicals are actively seeking to implement their own version of Sharia law. Greaves photobombs Rapert at the unveiling and organises a Baphomet event in protest. Hollow Axis claims that he has come in patriotic pilgrimage to defend his beliefs and his rights as a citizen and there's a sizeable crowd to see the statue arrive on a flatbed and hear Greaves opine that this is a resolution to a conflict not an escalation, as he believes that every voice should be heard. 

As the credits crawl, we end with a reporter stating that some in the Arkansas legislature consider the Satanic Temple to be a satire group rather than genuine activists. But Lane leaves viewers to make up their own minds about the motives of Greaves and his gang and the extent to which the Christian Right is trying to discredit them because it recognises the seriousness of their threat. Regardless of the precise nature of the Temple's agenda, however, it's clear that it raises some fundamental issues about the efforts of a committed minority to impose its will by exploiting the inaction of the apathetic majority. Let's not forget, it's Greaves who has to wear a bulletproof vest in public rather than any of his self-righteous foes.

While affording the Templars the latitude to make both pertinent and preposterous comments, Lane accords their naysayers the same right to appear pious and pompous. But rather than rely solely on the pronouncements of the various saints and sinners, she also laces the footage with choice snippets from films, TV shows and cartoons featuring Porky Pig being instructed in constitutional matters by Uncle Sam himself. The contributions of her non-aligned talking heads are also drolly instructive, with the asides on Cold War patriotism and 80s paranoia (which could both profitably have been expanded) being topped by the hilarious revelations about gun enthusiast Charlton Heston's role in spreading the message of Moses while on the Paramount payroll. 

Opting to follow breaking stories rather than develop a thesis, the documentary becomes a bit reactive and repetitive in its latter stages. It also comes close to being something of a recruitment exercise, even though Lane sometimes struggles to flesh out some of Greaves's quirkier acolytes, who seem to have been included more for their idiosyncracies than their intellects. But Amy Foote and Aaron Wickenden's editing is wittily slick in helping Lane highlight the importance of free speech in an age of the social media meltdown, as well as the ease with which the well-organised and well-funded alt-right could emulate their bible-brandishing counterparts by attempting to shut down secular debate by invoking the political equivalent of blasphemy.

Despite the efforts of documentaries like Kim Longinotto's The Day I Will Never Forget (2002) and Paula Heredia's Africa Rising (2009), as well as such features as Ousmane Sembène's Moolaadé (2004) and Sherry Hormann's Desert Flower (2009), the subject of Female Genital Mutilation is rarely broached by film-makers. Now based in Germany, Beryl Magoko was subjected to the ritual as a young girl in Kenya. As she considers undergoing a pioneering form of reconstructive surgery, she enlists the help of Jule Katinka Cramer in order to consult other women who endured similar trauma and they collate their findings in In Search..., which is showing in London under the Dochouse banner. 

At the start of her travels, Beryl Magoko visits therapist Zion Malek, who claims that female circumcision is much more than a physical assault, as it challenges women to address their cultural history and the plight of the generations who came before them and suffered the same torment. She also meets Nancy Moraa, who relives the agony of her ritual and the sense of betrayal she felt that her mother left the ordeal to her grandmother and aunts. 

Her next encounter is with Assita Kanko, a member of the European Parliament in Brussels, who was cut during her childhood in Burkina Faso. Magoko confides that she is thinking about reconstruction, but is scared by the possible pain involved in the procedure and the prospect that it will bring back memories she has spent a lifetime trying to suppress. Kanko had also pushed the incident to one side and had only spoken about it to her mother after publishing a book on the subject. She would never contemplate reconstruction and has channelled her energies into challenging the patriarchal mentality that seeks to mutilate a girl when she is five or six to make her easier to control when she becomes an adult. However, Magoko is also keen to break the code of silence among compliant African women that prevents their daughters from learning about the unspeakable pain involved until it's too late. 

Kanko raises the issue of self-guilt, as lots of girls go freely to the cutter and blame themselves for not having struggled or attempted to run away. She urges Magoko to speak to her mother about the physical and psychological impact that the operation has had upon her. So, together with cinematographer Jule Katinka Cramer and sound recordist Malin Schmid, she flies back to Kenya and travels along cratered roads to the village of Senta. She receives a warm welcome from her friends and family and teases mother Gati Magoko about her grey hairs. Everyone gathers for a celebratory meal, but Magoka remains aware that she has come on a mission. 

After helping her mother weed a patch of land, Magoka brings up her circumcision while they are sifting through some beans. Gati muses about the status of women in their society and how they had to do as they were told if they were to be provided for. She insists she was powerless to prevent her daughter being cut, as neither the church nor the government had denounced the practice and her objections would have been ignored. Magoka realises the truth in what she says, but clearly wishes she had spoken up. When Magoka experiences premenstrual cramps, Gati suggests getting a partner to make them go away. As she doesn't like the herbal tea she suggests, Gati feels helpless, as Magoka's hands and feet go numb because of the pain and she sobs on the bed with a hot water bottle clutched to her stomach.

Returning to Germany, Magoka consults Dr Dan Mon O'Dey, who describes the physiognomy of the vagina and how reconstruction will attempt to rebuild the clitoris and normalise sensation. However, much depends on the initial examination to assess the extent of the damage and Magoka is surprised to learn that she has not been mutilated as badly as she had thought. She meets with a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, who swears that reconstruction was the best thing that ever happened to her, as she know has the confidence that comes from a better body image and the pleasure she derives from sexual contact. As she chats, Magoko becomes emotional as she remembers three men coming to her school a few weeks after she had undergone FGM in 1994 to tell the class to resist the ritual at all costs. If they had come earlier or there had been better education within her community, she would have been spared a quarter of a century of distress. 

Having come through a crisis of confidence over the entire project, Magoko ventures out into the German snow and feels renewed. She meets Fadumo Korn, who was 19 when she was cut and had the misfortune to be treated by an elderly woman with poor eyesight and unsanitary equipment. Korn went into a coma and was lucky to survive. Yet she was left with such severe nerve damage to her feet that is registered as disabled. She had her children through Caesarian section and chides Magoko for making excuses to avoid reaching a decision about reconstruction. It should have nothing to do with her mother, as she is reclaiming her own body and should do so on her own terms. 

Magoko flies back to Kenya and meets Dr Abdullah Adan and Dr Marcy Bowers at the Mama Lucy Hospital. The latter explains the stages of restorative surgery and makes an intricate procedure sound reassuringly straightforward. Having had a show and compare session with Katinka Cramer, Magoko decides to let Bowers perform the operation because she has learned to trust her. In the recovery room, she chats to Christine Mayienda, who has chosen reconstruction as a gift to herself, in order to reclaim the dignity that the tribe stole from her when she was a girl. She jokes about not telling her children that she was coming to the clinic, but urges Magoko to spread the word against FGM, as it scars the body and ruins relationships.

Returning to Senta, Magoko breaks the news to her mother while they are sorting green lentils and she gets the giggles because they are discussing such private parts of the body. She asks how they could restore a clitoris that had been removed and jokes about the style of the stitching. When Magoko asks Gati why she hadn't tried harder to protect her, she insists there was nothing she could do in the face of family pressure. Magoko asks Gati about her own circumcision and she recalls it with great clarity, as she was the only girl in her family and her father made a big fuss of her and killed two cows for the celebration. She remembers the excruciating agony, but also the onus placed on her not to cry and shame her family. Clearly, Gati retains that ability to withstand pain, as she burns herself on the stove in stocking it up with charcoal, but makes light of it. 

One of those documentaries whose content matters much more than its form, this represents a dual act of courage, as Beryl Magoko not only discusses a deeply personal ordeal on camera, but also conquers her fears in order to set an example to others by having reconstructive surgery. Much of the footage involves Magoko in conversation with other women and some might wonder why no attempt was made to confront the tribal elders who imposed such barbarity upon their womenfolk before the Kenyan government stepped in in 2011. But Magoko is right to keep the focus on her mother and the role that women played in perpetuating a practice that sounds to have been far more brutal in the past. 

Editor Fani Schoinopoulou shrewdly contrasts the German and African settings captured by Katinka Cramer's camera. But the emphasis is very much on words rather than images and Magoko is to be commended for her bravery as a film-maker and as a woman. Ideally, her film would be widely seen. But one suspects this is one of those titles whose worth was spotted by Dochouse alone.