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 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 the 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
Some days, shooting had to pause for church bells, which had rung at noon for decades. See more »
A major plot line is the Christians' destruction of the Great Library Library. According to historical accounts, Alexandria's vast stores of scrolls and knowledge were destroyed almost 500 years before the events of the movie. Contemporary accounts of the Decree of Theodosius attribute the loss to the Cesarean destruction in 48 BCE. See more »
[Looks up at night sky]
If I could just unravel this just a little bit more, and just get a little closer to the answer, then... Then I would go to my grave a happy woman.
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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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