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HAND OF FATE.

(DOCU)

A Luminous Films (Toronto) production. Produced by Scott Morgan, Alexandra Bennett. Executive producers, Morgan, Bennett. Directed, written by Scott Morgan. Camera (color/B&W), Chris Duskin, Morgan; editor, Nick Hector; music, Eric Rosse; sound (Dolby), Steve Munro; line producer, Alton Walpole. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival, June 5, 1999. Running time: 101 MIN.

With: Neela Baba, Colette Baron Reid, Thubten Ngodup, Rita Rogers, Frank Andrews, Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa.

Handsomely crafted docu tackles elusive subject of clairvoyance, focusing on mystical traditions in different cultures. Pic's prevailing lack of skepticism may limit its widespread appeal, but otherworldly enthusiasm may be what sells "Hand of Fate" to more far-seeking auds. Errol Morris-level mounting makes it a natural for fest circuit at least, with vid-cassette followers sure to gather.

Pic fixes on six seers, all of whom lay some spiritually inspired claim to the future. Most interesting are opening and closing subjects: respectively, an Indian scientist (who has died since film was finished) and a South African shaman reviled by villagers for carrying "the unbearable burden of seeing the future." The North Americans are bigger on name-dropping, with one New Yorker recounting chilling--and wholly unverifiable--late-'70s encounters with John Lennon and Grace Kelly. Visit with Tibetan oracle is intriguing but notably unclear about what the guy actually does, other than twitch and shout. Editing is particularly clever, with segs overlapping in innovative ways, and pic's hypnotic score includes an original end-credit tune from Tori Amos.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Eisner, Ken
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Movie Review
Date:Jun 21, 1999
Words:241
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