The long awaited movie Agora is starting to get more buzz and should perhaps soon be released here in the US. It has already been released all over Europe and has done quite well there, and was opened in Canada back in September, but is yet to be seen here in America. Scheduled for general release here on
December 18th it seems to have been put off until sometime in 2010. Curious is it not?
Directed by Alejandro Amenbar from Spain, the movie features the last stand of Hypatia of Alexandria trying to hold her own against Christian fundamentalists in the 4th century. This is a great epic tragedy. The Christians win, destroy the Library of Alexandria, and kill Hypatia. It foreshadows the transformation of the late Pagan Roman Empire into the Christian dominated "dark ages".
Here is a link to the movie trailer
Here is the review in Variety
"...The central dramatic event is the sacking of Alexandria’s fabled library, the repository of “all the knowledge of the world” up to that time, and the parallel drawn between early-day Christian fundamentalists, who have just been legalized by the Roman Empire at the story’s start, and a certain other religion’s present-day fanatics is entirely clear. These issues and more echo throughout the story, which unfolds in a physical rendering of Alexandria that is vivid and extensive in its display of fabulous architecture, divide between the haves and have-nots and polyglot nature of one of the ancient world’s great melting pots."...(Cont.)...
And here is a description of the background setting in AFRIK.COM.
"At the end of the Roman Empire, Alexandria became the last bastion of antique culture, and the monumental Serapeion (Sarapeum) complex, which was the religious and historic heart of the city, was of particular importance to pagan Egyptians. It was a place of high culture where the scholarly work and scientific research that had illuminated the ancient days beamed its final rays, highlighting the philosophical works of Olympios and the fundamental astronomical discoveries of Hypatia, its daughter. The school of Alexandria continued to train brilliant students throughout the Roman Empire, with a freedom of thinking and writing that was inherited from its founders, especially Ptolemy the Savior, a former disciple of Aristotle and general of Alexander."...(Cont.)...
This proto university complex is beautifully rendered and destroyed in the movie. What do they say about "those who don't learn from history"...? Food for thought folks.