Agora (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Agora is a 2009 Spanish historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar, written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil, and starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella. It tells the story of Hypatia, a female philosopher in Roman Egypt, who is portrayed by Weisz. With dramatic license, the biopic includes a romantic angle: her slave falls in love with her. It was screened Out of Competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It has useful pointers to Jewish deicide, mob violence and religious intolerance, the importance of libraries, heliocentrism based on Aristarchus of Samos, gender roles, and the Jewish–Roman wars.



The film centers around the astronomer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria (Weisz) and several men whom she knows such as her slave Davus (Minghella), who is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity. Increasingly, Hypatia comes into conflict with the Christian leaders of Alexandria.


The Religious Anti-Defamation Observatory protested against the film for "promoting hatred of Christians and reinforcing false clichés about the Catholic Church." The film at first had trouble finding a distributor in both the USA and Italy although it eventually found distributors.


The film holds a 69% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on sixteen reviews. It also scored more than 7.5 stars over 10 on IMDb (The Internet Movie Database). Agora was Spain's highest grossing film of 2009, earning over $10.3 million within four days of its release on October 9.


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