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"Journey to Alexandria" Documentary
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
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.
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
Lots of redeeming values are illustrated on how women are subjugated and ignored. Long and slow, acting is OK, but the plot is poor. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Michael K. Lamb
The dramatic aspects of the film were enjoyable, but the historical aspects were informative.Published 1 day ago by Ronald Benjamin
Good movie - some liberty with facts but worth watching, for certain.Published 1 day ago by Michael Bobo
Highly underrated and one of the best movies I've seen in a while. In a class of it's own. One of the only movies that shows how Science and Religion are connected by emotion.Published 2 days ago by anish220
Wow. What a movie. The eternal battle between science and religious fanaticism. Christians today judge other beliefs as barbaric, but movies like this show that they are as... Read morePublished 2 days ago by MartL