“The hot topic these days is Islamic fundamentalism,” Ms. Weisz said recently over tea at an East Village restaurant near her home. “But in ‘Agora,’ it’s the Christians who are the fundamentalists” whose zealotry leads them to destroy one of the libraries of Alexandria, perhaps the greatest center of learning in the ancient world.
Some of those scenes evoke the Taliban’s demolition of statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in 2001, and Ms. Weisz, British born and educated at Cambridge, said such parallels were deliberate. In another scene, Hypatia has a veil put over her head, “and it said in the script that this should be reminiscent of the burqa,” she recalled.
“The very first thing I thought when I read the script was that this is a story about today, a very contemporary, 21st-century story,” she said. She mentioned opposition to stem cell research and to the teaching of evolution as examples of “a wall between science and religion” that still stands, and then concluded her thought: “That we’re still killing people in the name of God is primitive but true.
“She was an exceptional woman, a virginal intellectual who managed to impose herself as an important figure, a reference point in the philosophical and political life of Alexandria during a crucial epoch” Mr. Amenábar said. “We are accustomed to seeing lions devouring Christians in films, but not the transformation of Christians from a persecuted group to one that is powerful and armed.”
C'mon - it better be good, and I hope they do justice to the topic. Read the full article here. Here is the trailer for Agora:
By the way, Hypatia also captured Sagan's imagination and was brought up multiple times in Cosmos. Here is a clip about the last days of the Library of Alexandria and the death of Hypatia: