The Hand of Fatima (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hand of Fatima (2009)

The Hand of Fatima



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Anthology is thrilled to present the US Theatrical Premiere Run of THE HAND OF FATIMA, a double portrait of a rock critic and his favorite band. Robert Palmer was America's pre-eminent music writer, best known for his book DEEP BLUES and his work for the NEW YORK TIMES. The Master Musicians of Jajouka are a hereditary Moroccan brotherhood who play music older than history, but have also jammed with Ornette Coleman and Sonic Youth. Using Robert Palmer's writing about the band as her guide, Palmer's daughter Augusta set out for Morocco in 2005 hoping to find out what happened when her father first met the Master Musicians of Jajouka on assignment for ROLLING STONE in 1971. The film intercuts verite footage of the filmmaker's journey with animations of Robert's experiences in the 1970s, allowing the filmmaker (and the audience) to glean the truth between the lines of Robert's mystical journey and to understand his all-consuming need for musical transcendence. That need was more than met by the Master Musicians, who were introduced to expatriate Tangiers society by the artist Brion Gysin in the 1950s, and then popularized by Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who recorded an album in their village which became a cult favorite upon its release shortly after his death. Encounters with Yoko Ono, Donovan, Anthony DeCurtis, and the elder Palmer's four wives round out a journey that culminates with the Master Musicians' indelible performance in their remote Moroccan village. --© Anthology Archivesmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Musical & Performing Arts, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Cultural Animal - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Hand of Fatima

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (5)

Has a combination of personal history and glorious music that is deeply compelling.

Full Review… | November 16, 2009
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The Hand of Fatima tries to understand the '60s-bred hunger for ecstasy, pursued through music and drugs.

November 13, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Succeeds in shedding kaleidoscopic light on both the man and the music.

Full Review… | November 12, 2009
New Yorker
Top Critic

Like so many before her, Augusta Palmer treats her hosts with overstated reverence, which is a shame: Somewhere in this scenario lies a very funny, very strange indie comedy.

Full Review… | November 11, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

All the slapdash animation, stock footage, fake Robert narration, and cred-boosting testimonials here (Yoko Ono, Donovan, Genesis P. Orridge) offer less insight than father Palmer's own book-turned-doc Deep Blues.

Full Review… | November 10, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

For all its earnestness, however, The Hand of Fatima feels a little too thematically diffuse to leave a distinct impression.

Full Review… | November 18, 2009
New York Press

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