Hoover Street Revival Review

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Bishop Noel Jones is a preacher in South Central LA, who with his unorthodox (and slightly less than theologically dominated) sermons, packs them in every Sunday.


The sibling factor provides the main interest in this frustrating documentary. Sophie Fiennes is the sister of Ralph and Joseph, while the self-styled Bishop Noel Jones is the brother of singer-actress, Grace. He certainly possesses the family flair for showmanship, as the sermons he preaches at the packed Greater Bethany Community Church in South Central LA are pastoral performances rather than theological tracts - his backroom staff do a brisk trade in video and audio tapes.

However, this fussily filmed portrait, with its alienating aerial shots and intrusive visual stylisations, singularly fails to capture Jones's motives, personality or beliefs. Nor does it show him at work among a flock whose problems are evident in spite of Fiennes' irksome habit of presenting incident and testimony without any explanatory context.

Sloppy and self-indulgent, this is a shameful waste of a potentially fascinating subject.