A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hopes of pursuing freedom while also falling in love with his master, the famous female philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
Alexandria, 391 AD: Hypatia teaches astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy. Her student Orestes is in love with her, as is Davus, her personal slave. As the city's Christians, led by Ammonius and Cyril, gain political power, the institutions of learning may crumble along with the governance of slavery. Jump ahead 20 years: Orestes, the city's prefect, has an uneasy peace with Christians, led by Cyril. A group from the newly empowered Christians has now taken to enforce their cultural hegemony zealously; first they see the Jews as their obstacle, then nonbelievers. Hypatia has no interest in faith; she's concerned about the movement of celestial bodies and "the brotherhood of all". Although her former slave doesn't see it that way. Written by
The visual effects team designed the night skies accurately for the time period of the movie using a star chart software. See more »
Bird's-eye/satellite images are used to contrast the story's earthly developments and the universe Hypatia tried to disclose. These images show 400 AD Alexandria along with modern man-made Suez Canal, Assuan Dam, Lake Nasser and Toshka Lakes (created in 1998). See more »
Synesius, you don't question what you believe, or cannot. I must.
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Weisz shines but the film is somewhat of an enigma.
Fascinating look into a view of the struggle between religion and scientific morality but the script needed a good rewrite in order to get a firm hold of the subject matters it raised. Some of the themes raised by the script does not gel in certain scenes and a few of the characters are thinly drawn out and are more caricatures than human beings. Rachel Weisz however does lift this move above its short comings with a brilliant and moving performance that captures the struggles of a woman trying to bring sense to a world on the brink of the Dark Ages and her performance as well as the performances of her costars ( Oscar Isaac, Max Minghella and Ashraf Barhom) makes you stay until the tragic end.
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