Thursday, September 09, 2010

Max Dashu reviews Agora, the movie

I did not go see the film Agora - about the revered ancient female philosopher and scientist Hypatia - during its short stay in Vancouver; I was put off by the trailer, which looked artificial and pompous to me. Nevertheless, quite a few women I know did go see it in theatres. One of those is the remarkable Max Dashu, whose review (link here) goes into far more and more accurate background and detail about Hypatia than the film did. Be sure to visit and read the review and look around her website.

Quoting Max's biography from the review page:

Max DashĂș is known for her expertise on ancient female iconography in world archaeology, goddess traditions, and women shamans. In 1970 she founded the Suppressed Histories Archives to research mother-right cultures, female spheres of power, and the history of their repression. Drawing on her collection of over 15,000 slides, she uses images to teach global womens' history and cultural heritages. Her critique of Cynthia Eller's The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory (2000) has been influential in opening up space for consideration of egalitarian matrilineages. (“Knocking Down Straw Dolls" (2000) republished in Feminist Theology 13.2 (2005), Sage Publications, UK)


  1. Thanks for the link. Ms. Dashu wrote a very thoughtful review. I saw Agora when it first came out in NYC and agree it was beautifully shot, but flawed. For folks that want to know more about the historical Hypatia, I highly recommend a readable biography by Maria Dzielska titled Hypatia of Alexandria (Harvard Press, 1995.) I also have a series of posts on the characters and events in the film on my blog--not a movie review, but a "reel vs. real" discussion.

  2. Faith L. Justice has also published a novel titled Selena of Alexandria, I see - the lead character is a girl who becomes a protege of Hypatia.

  3. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.


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