Wonder. Creation. Meaning.

Agora is a powerful, thought-provoking film. Have you seen it yet?

I like its messages.

I’ve always thought that religion or some form of life philosophy is something that everyone needs. It’s part of human nature to seek and create meaning in life, to seek to define ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – otherwise how could we ever live?

But I know it’s more complicating than that. Even if, truly, things are actually simple, we are still going to complicate it into a mess.

It is dangerous when people use religion to condemn another, to attain power.

But real life doesn’t work like that.

In real life, there are millions of uneducated people, millions of stubborn unyielding people, millions of narrow-minded people, where it’s a matter of life and death when their religion is compromised. And the more intelligent but corrupted people, use this as a way to get themselves more power. And maybe they’re a little crazy, too. But who isn’t, really?

Agora is about a philosopher, Hypatia, a woman who seeks to wonder and question about things. To her, it doesn’t matter what religion her students are, to her, they are all the same: life forms that constantly seek to create meaning in their worlds, and their lives, to think and to wonder.  People must not always be followers, but they must seek their own understanding.

This movie was under the radar for me, because I hadn’t heard much about it, I didn’t think it would be good. But it was. So I promptly went online to figure out why I hadn’t heard much about it.

Guess what?

Religious groups are attacking it.

Many reviewers also say that the movie is about science vs. religion. I think it’s about more than that. It is about being humble towards the vast universe. We are all, like the movie suggests, only tiny creatures moving about, caught up in our own daily struggles, so much to the point that we have lost touch with the greater picture of things. Religions that advocate peace and harmony and compassion are instead corrupted and twisted by our own inability to see that, in the world, we are all living things, with a beating heart that feels pain and happiness and wonder.

Many reviews also say that Agora is a film that paints Christians in a negative light. I think Agora is simply showing everyone who is caught up in their own fears, and how these fears can turn into anger. Because it is scary to have the basis of your whole life, your religion, threatened by some ‘heathen’ thought. It is safer to kill that person and think only that you are right than it is to question. Questioning doesn’t mean you are against your religion, it is simply an assertion of your own right to consciousness. We are human beings, apparently the most evolved species on this planet, we must make the most of our ability to think.  So, the movie isn’t necessarily condemning Christians, but condemning all of us who are too afraid to touch the unknown. To admit, yes, though we have a great religion, we must still admit that we don’t know everything and we may not necessarily be right. We shouldn’t forget our origins.

I know that it is more complicating than that, that if people question things too much there will be chaos. But, according to history, we are more likely to fall into chaos because of a few stubborn narrow-minded people.

I thought Agora did a most excellent job satisfying this frustration of mine.

Please watch it and let me know what you think of it. Rachel Weisz was spectacular. I don’t care if it was necessarily historically correct, because, heck, we didn’t live in that time period so what do we really know anyway? I hope most people know that if it’s a movie, it’s not going to be completely true. But the message is still there.

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5 thoughts on “Wonder. Creation. Meaning.

  1. I’m not surprised religious groups are attacking it, from what you’ve said. Seems like religious groups will attack anything that addresses religion in a way that doesn’t exactly coincide with their own beliefs. :/ I remember seeing previews for this but didn’t realize it had come out. I’ll see if I can get it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Definitelly one which I want to check out. I class myself as religious, but I’m really open minded and intrigued about this film. Thanks for the review!

  3. Definitely sounds like a movie religious groups would love to attack!

    I am getting quite disillusioned with institutionalized religions as a whole – every day when I read the newspapers I only seem to read about the small-mindedness of people who can’t seem to accept another’s beliefs – sometimes within the same religion!

    It’s a shame that there is so little publicity for this movie…it definitely sounds like something we should all see.

  4. Agora sounds like an excellent film. I myself have been struggling a bit with religion, so I’m interested to hear about these kinds of works.

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