Synopsis by Mark Deming
Lech Majewski directed this visually striking examination of the nexus between art and politics in the 16th century. In 1564, the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel created one of his best-known and most controversial works, "The Procession to Calvary," in which Christ, carrying his cross, makes his way to his own crucifixion though a crowded landscape that features representations of hundreds of historic and contemporary figures. The painting was a biting commentary on political matters of the day as well as a satiric view of religion, and in The Mill & the Cross, Majewski re-creates the making of Bruegel's masterpiece, as the artist (played by Rutger Hauer) stages the images and explains their meanings while we learn more about the individuals depicted and the people who posed for the work, many of whom have their own stories to tell. Using digital imaging technology, The Mill & the Cross allows viewers to enter into Bruegel's painting as the static figures come to life. Also starring Charlotte Rampling and Michael York, The Mill & the Cross received its American premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
art, controversy, crucifixion, masterpiece, painter