A couple of commenters, Hugh and Ivan, set me straight on my appraisal of the movie Agora. I should have done more research before posting. It appears that the producers of Agora took some liberties with historical facts – which is not unusual in movies. I had also been told, by a trusted source, that the movie more or less stuck to the facts. It is entirely possible that this source, if he reads this blog, can defend Agora against its critics. He is a knowledgeable fellow. Thank you, Hugh and Ivan, for bringing the controversy surrounding this movie to my attention.
I believe somebody was quoted, in the movie, as saying that idolators can only believe in things they can see. Hence the need for statuary. It dawned on me that movies are today’s idols. People base their opinions up0n dramatic events in their lives – and the vast majority of dramatic events people see occur in movies. In fact, I would bet that for every one dramatic event that occurs in real life, there are hundreds that the average person sees in movies and television shows. For the most part, television shows and movies constitute the a huge portion of what most Americans experience (through the senses of sight and sound). This medium is so powerful that it overrides real experiences in their lives. When it comes to ancient history, actual history doesn’t stand a chance against the make-believe history of movies and television – since no living person has experienced the real thing.
I suggested, in a comment on the previous post, that Agora’s producer, Amenábar, used the story of Hypatia as an allegory of the Muslim threat we face today.
I do stand by my previous opinion that the movie is wonderfully made and I recommend it to those who are not as sentimental as I.