‘Agora’: A Movie With A Female Protagonist Who Isn’t Obsessed With Finding A Boyfriend


My sister is a huge science and mathematics nerd and she recently introduced me to the epic film  Agora,  starring Oscar winner Rachel Weisz.  This movie went a bit under the radar for me and it's a shame because I'm guessing that a lot of other people missed it as well.   Agora is the biographical story of the philosopher Hypatia, a Greek woman living in Alexandria during the rise of Christianity and the end of antiquity.   Hypatia was a proto-physicist   and mathematician who may have been one of the first scientists to realize that the sun was at the center of the universe.   The filmmakers take artistic license with some of the historic details, but there are a few reasons I think more people   - especially teen girls - should see this film. First of all, it refreshingly depicts a female protagonist who is more interested in ideas than romantic attachments.   With her father's support, Hypatia becomes one of the greatest thinkers of her age and is respected by the men whom she advises and teaches.   Finally, Hypatia is an historic figure who is less well-known than some of her male counterparts. Perhaps this is because none of her original writing survived, but it's also possible that her gender kept her from being as celebrated.

Before viewing the film it's important to know that there are violent scenes which are not appropriate for younger children. Some readers may be uncomfortable that it also depicts early Christians in a fairly negative light - burning the Library of Alexandria, intolerance for other religions, etc. However, I think it's important that Christians know about this ugly era in Church history.   The film packages history in an entertaining way and provides an opportunity for a family discussion about history and one woman's contribution to our scientific knowledge. It's available on Netflix.