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
In one of the movie scenes a quite large Opuntia (Prickly pear cactus) can be seen. These plants are not native to the old world and they were introduced to Africa after discovery of the Americas. In fact, Opuntia was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the 16th century by Spanish seamen.
There is one cactus "shrub" that is shown several times, also the juicy fruits are eaten by the locals. This makes one wonder, have the Spanish movie-makers deliberately made the cactus a "part of the plot"? 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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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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