Polona Petek offers an essential interpretation of The Hand in a footnote (!) to her brilliant article "The Death and Rebirth of Surrealism in Bohemia" on the films of Jan Svankmajer. (Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Volume 17, Issue 1 April 2009 , pages 75 - 89)
A very poignant film about creative freedom and how something more powerful (a giant hand, a symbol for dictatorship) can thwart it. As from a descriptive about the film: "a horrifying protest against any violence restraining human freedom, emotions, creative force or life." Banned for two decades; confiscated by the secret police (part of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia), forbidden for viewing until 1986.
Fantastic. Right around the six minute mark things take a decidedly sinister--and brilliant--turn, both in terms of content and in terms of artistic choices. I'm not so sure I agree with MUBI's suggestion that this is a comedy.
A peerless allegory that makes clever, playful use of visual semiotics but never becomes anything less than deeply, tragically felt. It's incredibly how much emotion can be read into the potter's face, despite his ever-smiling visage.