POVERTY: Following the kitchen staff & guests of a North Philadelphia soup kitchen, Petr Lom's documentary sees firsthand what happens when an undocumented Mexican family asks for sanctuary in its church.

JoAnne Velin
Jo-Anne Velin is a Canadian journalist & film director living in Europe, creating long-form documentary films with a very special focus on authentic sound.
Published date: November 24, 2019

Angels on Diamond Street

Petr Lom

Corinne van EgeraatMette Cheng Munthe-Kaas (coprod)

the Netherlands, Norway

Angels on Diamond Street, by the Netherlands-based director Petr Lom, is rich with quotable quotes. It is a tender look at an American church with an old, persevering, social justice soul, and the people who make their soup kitchen a communal magnet.The film was recorded during a two-year focus on North Philadephia’s activist congregation of the Church of the Advocate in the heart of a poor, African American neighbourhood. The church building is a huge, stone beauty finished in 1887, named the George W. South Memorial Church, but is best known by its current moniker. Informative and strung together chronologically, it grows into an occasional conversation between the man behind the camera and the people he follows. You can read a lot in its details.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNKxyFt6mMM


The human warmth of Angels on Diamond Street radiates from its big soup kitchen as Mamie Mathias, the lead cook, prepares hot meals for about 90 to 125 covers a day. But we are led through a lot of history by Barbara Easely-Cox, a veteran of the Black Panther movement and its grassroots social work. She quips, «I’m a loner. I walk with God.»
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