I'd much rather see an indictment of early Christians which was not based on fiction.
Comparing Agora to Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ is one of the better analogies I've seen though.
Agreed. I haven't seen the film but from what I've heard it's not historically accurate and should not be depicted as such. There is enough historically verified villainy in the history of religion that we don't need to make shit up - that is, after all, what the theist do all the time.
Although, it's probably is as real as Gibson's strange hallucination.
First off - stunning movie - HIGHLY RECOMMEND. I will be buying it and forcing it on my family this holiday season.
Anyway, I'll be writing a short review on my blog, but wanted to check out what you all (of the Nexus community) thought of the movie.
Hypatia's story truly moved me to tears. How many times has science taken such a loss because of religious fervor? It's hard to count them all, and just devastating to think about it. But, I thought the director did a disservice to his audience - it COULD have been a response to the Passion of the Christ if they had actually shown her death in a more realistic fashion (skin stripped and burned). As it is, though still a moving story, it lacks the punch it could have had.
Hypatia's story truly moved me to tears. How many times has science taken such a loss because of religious fervor?
But... considering that it's a fictionalized account of what was in fact an episode of political rivalry in Alexandria, her story isn't one of those times.
Hypatia was not on the verge of scientific breakthroughs, she was not killed because she was a female scientist, and the Christians did not burn a library in the Serapeum. All of these scenes are fictional and are the product of the director Amenabar who's trying to push a (thinly veiled) ideological narrative. So if some scenes in the movie moved you to tears, that's fine, but cheer up - those scenes were probably fiction anyway.
This is the problem with Agora. It's marketed as a movie that is (at least for a large part) historically accurate, and so viewers think that the scenes in the movie are accurate or at least possess a kernel of truth. But they don't, and so all it ends up doing is perpetuating hoary Enlightenment myths.
Which is sad.
You might also want to read Richard Carrier's review of pagan scientific accomplishments in "Is Christianity Responsible for Science?" in John Loftus' "The Christian Delusion."
it's epic/longish but really cool at the same time