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"Journey to Alexandria" Documentary
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The film presents the fascinating life of the Roman philosopher/mathematician/scientist Hypatia, a neo-Platonist philosopher of 4th century Alexandria. Very little is known of her scientific or philosophical discoveries, as none of her writings survived the fall of Rome and the rise of Christianity. What we do know of her comes from other writers of the period, who tell us she was widely regarded as the bright jewel of the empire for her wisdom, virtue and brilliant erudition. The broader outlines of her life are known, as are the larger historical and cultural context in which she lived.
As the film opens, Hypatia is laboring to develop a theory that explains the orbits of the planets in contradiction to the accepted Ptolemaic model of the time. Amenabar and his writer take a few artistic liberties in his presentation, as he imagines Hypatia's train of thought along these lines in the absence of any documentary evidence. We just don't know if this was in fact the case. But never mind that, as Art is well served here.
Do the planets travel around the earth, or the sun? Hypatia struggles relentlessly with this question against the backdrop of abrupt and shocking changes in Roman culture. The early Christians have gained a political foothold with imperial favor, and begin to challenge the Pagans and Jews in the provincial capital. The confrontations become violent. As the Christians gain power, they repress any differences of belief and insist on agreement with their faith, often at the point of a sword.Read more ›
This is a magnificent movie, perhaps the best film ever made about the Ancient World, and visually one of the most beautiful films you'll ever seen. The soundtrack is as haunting as the visuals; the scene in which Orestes plays the pipes before a crowd of theater-goers in an attempt to woo Hyapatia could have become kitsch in lesser hands, but Amenábar imbues the moment with an unforgettable poignancy. This is also one of the scenes in which the camera rises high above the earth, establishing a cosmic viewpoint that informs the whole movie. There is true genius in the making of AGORA.
As a satellite city of Rome, Alexandria still enjoyed a cultural and educational reputation at the time of Hypatia, a neoplatonist philosopher who had studied in Athens and Italy. She taught at the Seraphaeum representing a sort of University/Library scholastic complex dedicated to learning. Hypatia was part scientist and mathematician but also and no less importantly a philosopher. She probably believed in transcendental modes of consciousness as taught by Plotinus.Read more ›
I agree that there was a conspiracy to keep this film from wide distribution in the US. The reason is quite simple. Those who would distribute the film fear the right wing Chrisianity much as the pagans feared the Christian thugs in the time the film portrayed.
George Santayana said it best. "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Learn, people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Part of what happened to Yeshua's teachings, words. Absorbed into the misuse of power known as the catholic church. Read morePublished 56 minutes ago by SpiritWynd
We watched this movie for about 45 minutes because of all the high ratings and really tied to give it a chance. 45 minutes we will never get back. Terrible.Published 6 hours ago by Polly J. Farley
Not for sure how much to believe this film. It certainly paints early Christians in a bad light. As I am a retired scientist, I can appreciate the conflict of science and religion. Read morePublished 1 day ago by A Reader
Anti-Christian theme not impressive. Good roman film. Love the time setting. Very authenticPublished 2 days ago by Jerry Hay
We were first attracted to this film when we saw Rachel Weisz starred in it. I'd never seen a historical film where the brutality that existed shortly after Christ died was... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Fairy Dogmother
Very interesting historical drama. Not sure how accurate it is. Visually, very well done. Maybe a bit short on action for some tastes. I enjoyed it quite a bit.Published 6 days ago by J.S.A.
Appears to be an attempt at an historical feature and probably is somewhat accurate. However, on the acting portion, it leaves much to be desired.Published 6 days ago by Donald E. Fellows
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So far as I know, no US compatible Blu-ray of "Agora" has ever been produced. There is, however, a Spanish Blu-ray release that features an English audio track and defeatable Spanish subtitles.
Jan 2, 2013 by Timian | See all 4 posts
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