Saturday, 24 July 2010


This one is going to be controversial with a large group of people, but it is based on history. Now, usually when one says that, it usually means "here's an idea that was written on a napkin", but in this case, this is an actual historical collection of events. (That said... there are some liberties taken, and certainly Hypatia is killed with more kindness than was actually given to her...)

Not sure why this movie wasn't called Hypatia, but instead the director went for a more general form Agora, being akin to "forum". Certainly a lot of this movie is about the "debate" (in a very loose sense) between Christianity and other religions, and about the practices of Christianity used at the time (ie death to unbelievers). [While Christianity is involved, to be honest, it could be any religion in a power situation. Feel free to consider if Muslim was cast in this role.]

However, I did find it rather tricky following the detailed motivations of the people involved. The more broad themes are easy to spot, but I did get a little lost as to who was who. Still, good acting all around, and Rachel Weisz rises to the part.

Check it out for a rather dark moment in human history.



flj52452 said...

I saw the film when it first came out in NYC and loved Weisz' performance as Hypatia. Amenabar distorts some history in service to his art (the Library didn't end that way and Synesius wasn't a jerk), but that's what artists do. I don't go to the movies for history. For people who want to know more about the historical Hypatia, I highly recommend a very readable biography "Hypatia of Alexandria" by Maria Dzielska (Harvard University Press, 1995). I also have a series of posts on the historical events and characters in the film at my blog - not a movie review, just a "reel vs. real" discussion.

Jamas Enright said...

Thanks for commenting. Very interesting reading there!