A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the famous philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
Greece is experiencing conditions in post-war history that no European thought would face again. Homeless people, soup kitchens, unemployment, poverty, violent conflicts and the rise of the... See full summary »
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
Although the film explicitly refers to Hypatia as an atheist on a number of occasions, she was a Neoplatonist, adhering to a philosophy of contemplation towards perfection. This idealistic monism sought truths from any worthy source, including pagan and Christian worship. See more »
Ever since Plato, all of them - Aristarchus, Hipparchus, Ptolemy - they have all, all, all tried to reconcile their observations with circular orbits. But what if another shape is hiding in the heavens?
Another shape? Lady, there is no shape more pure than the circle; you taught us that.
I know, I know, but suppose - just suppose! - the purity of the circle has blinded us from seeing anything beyond it! I must begin all over with new eyes. I must rethink everything!... What if we dared to look ...
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Alejandro Amenábar's masterpiece is a breathtaking excursion into religious fascism and misogynistic tyranny made special by Rachel Weisz, who probably give one of the best female acting performances in years as a scientist who was light years beyond her generation. Weisz is amazing and her performance is the show and then some. She's back up by Max Minghella, who is a great actor in his own right and Oscar Isaac, who is just as good. The triangle between them in believable and touch by their struggles to find their destinies. Its a moving cinematic piece of art and Alejandro does the story proud in his way of capturing the time of struggles of that time. Far and away, the best film I have seen all year.
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