Alejandro Amenabar (2009)

12 Certificate


Our Score
Ancient Alexandria is the setting for this epic drama that stars Rachel Weisz as the little-known astronomer Hypatia. Though she comes up with the revolutionary idea that the planets revolve around the sun, she is vilified because of her gender and, more dangerously, because she is considered a pagan at a time when Christians are gaining power. Director Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside) makes a powerful argument for independent thought over religious faith; his portrayal of the infamous raid on the library at Alexandria is devastating and masterfully shot. However, he does also put his heroine on a very high pedestal and she often seems removed from the turmoil at ground level and aloof in her dealings with slave Davus (Max Minghella) and adoring, privileged student Orestes (a complex turn from Oliver Isaac). But ultimately it's Hypatia's unswerving passion for science that gives the film its pulse.


An astronomer in Roman-occupied 4th-century Egypt develops controversial scientific theories - including the notion that the Earth is a sphere. Her research is threatened as conflict between pagans and Christians explodes into violence, while her slave is torn between his unrequited love for her and his new-found loyalty to Christianity. Historical drama, with Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella.

Cast & Crew

Hypatia Rachel Weisz
Davus Max Minghella
Orestes Oscar Isaac
Ammonius Ashraf Barhom
Theon Michael Lonsdale
Synesius Rupert Evans
Olympius Richard Durden
Cyril Sami Samir
Director Alejandro Amenabar
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: ParamountReleased on: 23 Apr 2010