February 26, 2010


This doesn't look quite like the movie about Hypatia of Alexandria that I would have made...
...but then again, it's impressive that a movie about Hypatia has been made at all. And that they had the very good sense to cast smouldering hottie Rachel Weisz in the lead. While Hypatia of Alexandria existed, it may be overreaching by the promoters to call this a "true story."

Given what looks like a rather overtly anti-Christian theme, I'd predict that this movie will have as much trouble finding a U.S. distributor as did CreationNo U.S distributor has been found yet, and it's not clear whether the movie made money in European release last year.
The historical reality was a good deal more complex and nuanced than what looks like they're depicting in the film, which I guess is okay for movie purposes but the reality of it was that Hypatia would have presided over what we would today call a university rather than a library, and its scholars were a mixture of pagans, Christians, Mithraists, and Jews. As were the people who destroyed it, a destruction that probably did not happen over the course of a few days or in a single violent riots.

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