The Mill and the Cross

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The Mill and the Cross
The Mill and the Cross.jpg
Directed by Lech Majewski
Produced by George Lekovic
Lech Majewski
Freddy Olsson
Dorota Roszkowska
Written by Michael Francis Gibson
Lech Majewski
Starring Rutger Hauer
Michael York
Charlotte Rampling
Music by Lech Majewski
Józef Skrzek
Cinematography Lech Majewski
Adam Sikora
Edited by Eliot Ems
Norbert Rudzik
Angelus Silesius
Telewizja Polska
Arkana Studio
Bokomotiv Filmproduktion
Release date
  • 23 January 2011 (2011-01-23) (Sundance)
  • 18 March 2011 (2011-03-18) (Poland)
Running time
96 minutes
Country Poland
Language English and Spanish
Budget €1.1 million[1]
Pieter Bruegel's The Way to Calvary

The Mill and the Cross (Polish: Młyn i krzyż) is a 2011 drama film directed by Lech Majewski and starring Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York. It is inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1564 painting The Procession to Calvary, and based on Michael Francis Gibson's book The Mill and the Cross. The film was a Polish-Swedish co-production. Filming on the project wrapped in August 2009.[1] It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 23, 2011.[2]


The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. It consists of a series of vignettes depicting everyday peasant life, interspersed with monologues from some of the principal characters, including Bruegel explaining the structure and symbolism of his painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.[3]



Joe Bendel: "... one of the standouts at this year’s Sundance".[4] Variety's Dennis Harvey wrote: "While hardly an exercise in strict realism a la The Girl With the Pearl Earring, the pic details rustic Flanders life with loving care, from costuming to simple machinery. Pic's narrative content ... is hardly straightforward or propulsive. ... the film is never dull, and frequently entrancing." Harvey thought that if marketed cleverly, the film "could prove the Polish helmer's belated international breakthrough".[5] Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter complimented the technical achievements, but called the film "ambitious but frustratingly flat". He described the English dialogue as "mostly clunky" and thought the film "has too much of a stodgy Euro-pudding feel".[6] On the other hand, in his review for the San Francisco International Film Festival, executive director Graham Leggat wrote: "...the narrative is not the point—the extraordinary imagery is. The painting literally comes to life in this spellbinding film, its wondrous scenes entering the viewer like a dream enters a sleeping body."[7]


  1. ^ a b Production: The Mill And The Cross wraps shoot Archived 2012-03-13 at the Wayback Machine. Film New Europe. 17 August 2009
  2. ^ 2011 Sundance Film Festival Noncompetitive Categories Standard Examiner. 2 December 2011
  3. ^ Grynienko, Katarzyna "All Star Cast of 'The Mill And The Cross' Working in Poland" Archived 2011-02-03 at the Wayback Machine., Film New Europe, 23 November 2008, accessed 22 October 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2011-01-27). "The Mill and the Cross". Variety. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  6. ^ Young, Neil (2011-02-09). "The Mill & the Cross: Berlin Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  7. ^

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