Sophie Fiennes
USA 2002
104 min

Hoover Street Revival is a thoughtful, non-journalistic documentary about gospel in an American ghetto and the search for meaning in a modern world. In it, Fiennes intersperses Noel Jones' charismatic sermons and his choir's extraordinary performances with scenes from the lives of church community members. «I was so shocked in L.A. about how absolutely divided that city is», Fiennes says: «For me the least interesting thing is Beverly Hills. L.A., like New York - these huge, massive urban sprawls in America - they fill you with paradoxical feelings of wonder and total forlornness, and the sort of tragedy of the human species. The thing that's interesting about Hoover Street Revival for Americans is that it's a language which is very European - the way it's made, the way it's seen. It's not an American language, but it's a very American subject.» This is perplexing, she says, to Americans «who think that documentaries should have a certain language. I think Noel Jones is an artist as well as a priest. It's a brilliant performance, but it has amazing content.»
In one of Jones' sermons, he says that to get what it is you really want, you have to be willing not to have anything - a message that knows no socioeconomic boundaries. «I made the film on that basis!» Fiennes says. «Everyone's been kind of hijacked by global consumerism, by the power of money. Because actually, it becomes so expensive to live in this first world, that everyone can't afford to be free anymore. Because if you're really going to be free, you're going to already change your lifestyle.»
Kristin Hohenadel
«Los Angeles Times»
July 2003

  • Noel Jones
  • Patrick Bolton
  • Stan Lewis
  • John Hayes
  • Chris Johnson
  • Masa Kohama
  • Levern Greenwood
  • Alvin Jones
Pierre Olivier Bardet, Kees Kasander, Senain Kheshgi
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