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.
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 set was built on the exact same spot (Fort Ricasoli, Malta) where the Coliseum was built for Gladiator (2000). The fort was also used for Caesar (2002), Helen of Troy (2003) and Troy (2004). See more »
During the Jewish slaughter, you can see a Prickly Pear (Indian fig) cactus in the streets of Alexandria. They were introduced in the Mediterranean area only after the discovery of America. See more »
The majority of us here... have accepted Christ. Why not the rest of you? It's only a matter of time and you know it.
Really? It is just a matter of time?... As far as I am aware, your God has not yet proved himself to be more just or more merciful than his predecessors. Is it really just a matter of time before I accept your faith?
Why should this assembly accept the council of someone who admittedly believes in absolutely nothing?
I believe in philosophy.
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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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