Mar 21, 2010


This is a thoroughly entertaining historical drama by a Spanish director set in Alexandria around the end of the fourth century and features a woman named HYPATIA Played by Rachel Weiss who is considered in history to be a scientist, mathematician and philosopher, although in reality, very little fact is really known about her.

It is easy to make a comparison of her with Socrates and what happened to him ancient Greece. Although Hypatia is the main featured character in the movie, the movie itself is not really just about her or what she could or would have achieved if she had lived at a different time.

this is not a war film nor is it in any way a love story but it graphically shows religious conflict between Christians Jews and pagans and it shows how Hypatia, although probably respected, struggled to make her mark as a woman in society at that time. if she had been a man, would things have been any different.

Never mind historical inaccuracies (and there many), enjoy the film for what it is. It is a movie after all and not a documentary and Alexandria and Egpyt are beautifully represented. I do agree with an earlier comment that it seems wrong not to see a single child in any of the scenes, that could do to do with cost and budget, how many extras did they use after all? If you are a tourist to a foreign country, normally you take a guide book or read up first. Essential for this film which throws up lots of historical information at us - hands up who honestly knew anything of the story in the first place and who the hell Hypatia was? I for one did not, so thank you wiki and google for expanding my knowledge on the meaning of AGORA and the identity of HYPATIA.

In reality, Hypatia clearly suffered a far more horrific death than is shown in the movie but full credit to the director for his sensitivity and moderation.

Hypatia is seen as an ordinary woman with a cause. She does not indulge in a love affair in the film and her virginity is intact is it not? She follows her fathers lead and wants to lead from the front.

Not sure if we can make a judgement from the movie whether Hypatia was a martyr to science but it is thought provoking all the same.

Introduction of the fictional slave 'Davus' is a curious one but it works well in the movie.

the movie will have two distinct audiences - one which wont care about the history itself and will watch it only for the drama - the second who will watch it in a more intellectual way and perhaps be critical at the end because the film does not give the end result they expected. Cant please everybody.

discovering the mystery of the universe, religious fanaticism, masterful scenes and cinematography, its all here. Not a great script for dialogue but a memorable movie to watch. 


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