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
Filmed in Fort Ricasoli, Malta, which was also used for Caesar (2002), Helen of Troy (2003) and Troy (2004). The set was built in the same spot where the Coliseum was built for Gladiator (2000). See more »
Synesius died in 413, two years before Hypatia. In the movie, he survives her. 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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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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