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The movie "Agora" (again)

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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:55 AM
Original message
The movie "Agora" (again)
There have been threads about this movie before, e.g.,

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

While I agree with W. C. Green that the movie is worth watching, I'd like to point out that like most movies set in ancient times, this one perpetuates a myth and should not be confused with a search for historical truth.

It is a myth that the dark ages were ushered in by the destruction of the Great Library and the consequent loss of ancient knowledge. This mythical event has been blamed variously on Pagans, Christians and Moslems. One version of the myth has the fire occurring in 48 BCE as a result of the burning of Julius Caesar's fleet. Another version (propagated by this movie) has it occurring in 391 CE. In yet another version, "... the Great Library of Alexandria was destroyed by the Arabs after their conquest of the city in 642 A.D., by order of the Caliph Umar."

http://books.google.com/books?id=hNtcejI_IGkC&pg=PA213&...

None of these versions of the myth holds up under scrutiny by historians.

The movie "Agora" also tries to create a brand new myth: that Hypatia anticipated Kepler's theory of elliptical planetary orbits. There is nothing in the historical record to suggest that she did any such thing.

But don't let my criticism stop you from enjoying the movie!
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's a link to another "Agora" thread
in which the movie is praised and criticized from various perspectives, and links are provided for some background information on Hypatia and the Parabalani:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

There are many questions one could ask about this movie. For example: could such a movie have been made in Hollywood? Are the ideas too esoteric for the general public? Is the movie anti-Catholic or anti-Christian? Is there intelligent life in the Lounge?
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. I did enjoy the movie......but.
It's very violent in places, bloody too, and so intense.

I wanted to see it and I'm glad I did, but it hurt to see the destruction of the library and the persecution of so many people.

:hi:
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, many innocent people were slaughtered - -
some in the name of Christ, others in defense of the Egyptian pantheon.

And you could tell what was going to happen long before it happened.

When Hypatia was playing with the cone, I knew she was going to become the Kepler of antiquity (and leave no record of having done so).

The chief bad guy was Cyril of Alexandria. Because he was so bad, he was declared a saint, which (according to this movie) shows how corrupt the Christians were.
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. I saw it
It was okay. I knew the script played fast and loose with historical accounts, which is fine with me as far as films go, but the whole thing was a bit too romance novel-like for my tastes. Just the same, the bad thing toward the end was properly tragic.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. SPOILER ALERT: Don't read if you haven't seen the movie.
A lot of bad things happened toward the end, but I assume you mean the death of Hypatia. She was resigned to her fate. As she said, "Cyril has already won." What difference does it make whether she lives or dies in a world where she can no longer teach and conduct research?

Is the movie like a romance novel? I wouldn't know, since I haven't read a lot of romance novels. :shrug:
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czernobog Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
5. The film was too dramatic
But the early Christians were indeed like a bunch of Taliban. There are plenty of accounts of violent Christian mobs and rabble rousers in the early days of Christianity.
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Lionel Mandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. How can a movie be too dramatic?
That's like saying a song is too musical.
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czernobog Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Fine.
I don't know what the right word is. I meant to say that Hypatia was shown as more important than she was, the destruction of library afforded more importance than the event had in history, etc. Spiced up, or something.

Sorry. English is my third language.
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