The Hand of Fatima

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 35
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Movie Info

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 Archives


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.

    Nov 16, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The Hand of Fatima tries to understand the '60s-bred hunger for ecstasy, pursued through music and drugs.

    Nov 13, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • Succeeds in shedding kaleidoscopic light on both the man and the music.

    Nov 12, 2009 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 11, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 10, 2009 | Full Review…
  • For all its earnestness, however, The Hand of Fatima feels a little too thematically diffuse to leave a distinct impression.

    Nov 18, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hand of Fatima

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