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Y'know the thing I shouldn't have done last week? Watched Agora. Sod the fact I've been wanting to watch it for absolutely ages, it actually turned out to be frickin' relentlessly depressing... book (well, scroll) burning, mass murder and religious oppression of every shade,

culminating in a simply delightly execution by stoning (about the 50th in the entire film, I think).  Really wouldn't say that would count as a spoiler, since the entire blurb is about the destruction of the Library (and the consequences for Hypatia).

 And while it attracted criticism for being anti-Christian at the time, that kinda misses the point - It was mostly anti-fundamentalism; anti-religious intolerance.  It just happened to be set at the point when the Christians were the ones doing it... and as we get reminded, they were the ones being torn to bits in the coliseum in the preceding era.  The misogynistic scripture isn't exactly exclusive to Christianity last time I looked (although the scene where it's read is sincerely gutwrenching).  It's about the limits of power, and how far you can push it when you have the crowd, and the swords and the stones.  And who you get to scapegoat in the process...

Sooo.. unrelentingly depressing then.


 


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Jennifer Howell

July 2015

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