Agora

"Alexandria, Egypt. 391 A.D. The World Changed Forever."

A biopic from ancient times, Agora stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a scholar and mathematician in Alexandria when Egypt was still under Roman rule. Before the fall of Alexandria, and its great library, the city was one of the foremost places of study and knowledge throughout the ancient world. This film focuses in during the last days, before the destruction of the great library, while there is a schism in the academic community between the heliocentric and Ptolemaic systems of defining the universe. And when these two forces clash and collide, nothing but chaos can ensue. Blood runs in the streets, and the destruction of all Rome's knowledge is imminent.

Agora is a film that uses history and an estimation of events that did really happen to illustrate what happens when science and religion clash over schools of thought and learning. In Agora, as has happened many times throughout history, the challenging of long held ideas that are considered correct by a religious establishment leads to anger and armed men running amok. The fight between holy warriors and scholars is not one that takes a great deal of time, but it does show personal strength and how a belief in fact is often an ineffective shield against the slings and arrows of the other side's true believers.

When one considers all of the happenings in Agora, it might even seem like a statement on many areas of modern political thought. Agora, named for the public speaking place similar to the Greek forum, combines the decline of Roman polytheism and the rise of Christianity's monotheism along with all of the turmoil citizens had to deal with in day to day life in that time period. With mathematicians arguing for peace, for logic and for facts against the rising tide though, it seems as if this time science is on the losing end of things. Unfortunately, as history has shown, Alexandria did not survive this particular set of events, and much of the knowledge contained in the great library was lost completely.

Agora showcases some of the last days of Rome's light before the Dark Ages. Historically speaking it's a moving and powerful film, and the lessons that is offers are just as poignant today as they would have been during the time of Alexandria's final fall.

R
| 2009 | 2 hr 6 min | 7.2/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Alejandro Amenabar
Language
English
Agora
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