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Hands (1934)

| Short | 1934 (USA)

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A commercial for the Works Progress Administration. We see hands close up: working, playing, praying, whittling, and strumming. Hands use saws and hammers, lift stones, turn wheels, then ... See full summary »
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A commercial for the Works Progress Administration. We see hands close up: working, playing, praying, whittling, and strumming. Hands use saws and hammers, lift stones, turn wheels, then write, type, apply a bandage, play a violin, use a compass, and hold a U.S. Treasury note. Hands put a shoe on a customer, shake a thermometer, and count out bills and coins into other waiting hands. A hand places an engagement ring on a finger, buys a movie ticket, and reels in a fishing line. There are multiple images repeating what we've seen. A chicken is basted; other chickens get grain. It's a national celebration. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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An odd product of the times.
30 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

This short film made for the WPA is part of an unusual collection of films entitled "Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941". It's not at all the sort of collection the average person would want to watch--mostly because it consists mostly of art films and films of historical interest--and not the sort of things most folks enjoy seeing.

"Hands" shows LOTS of sets of hands doing various jobs. And, occasionally, you see the hands grasping checks--which you assume is to indicate that the hands have earned this money. It all seems like a rather dull film to indicate the value of work and the WPA--part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.

You cannot really rate a film like this--it just doesn't have a lot of appeal to most folks and is an odd product of its times.


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