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The Mill and the Cross (2011)

Mlyn i krzyz (original title)
1:56 | Trailer
The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.



(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolaes Jonghelinck
Joanna Litwin ...
Marijken Bruegel
Dorota Lis ...
Saskia Jonghelinck
Bartosz Capowicz ...
Mateusz Machnik ...
Marian Makula ...
Sylwia Szczerba ...
Wojciech Mierkulow ...
Ruta Kubas ...
Jan Wartak ...
Sebastian Cichonski ...
Lucjan Czerny ...
Aneta Kiszczak ...


The film focuses on a dozen of the 500 characters depicted in Bruegel's painting. The theme of Christ's suffering is set against religious persecution in Flanders in 1564.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Behind every great painting lies an even greater story


Drama | History


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Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

18 March 2011 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

El molino y la cruz  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,354 (USA) (16 September 2011)


$310,900 (USA) (3 February 2012)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A few minutes before the end of the movie, a red automobile crosses the background between two houses, while Bruegel and Nicholas Jonghelinck are speaking in the foreground. See more »

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User Reviews

A lusciously disconcerting work
23 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It can be said that Lech Majewski's 2011 film depicts "art imitating life, imitating art, imitating life, which also typifies the layer upon layer of meaning and implication to be found in the film. Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 1564 painting "The Way to Calvary" creates the story line for this completely unconventional portrayal of life in the 1600's and Bruegel's technique or the process he may of worked through while creating the painting. Bruegal's painting is much more than a back drop and can almost be seen as a central character, perhaps even a brilliant supporting actor.

As the film weaves in and out of scenes found in the painting, the characters are brought to life portraying their personal reality behind the snippet of time in which they are actually portrayed. In a further layer in the film consider the juxtaposition of good and evil, peasants innocently awaking to begin a day's work, the musicians playing and dancing with merry abandon, contrasted with the whipping and murder of the young husband by the Spaniards. As Bruegel considers the crucifixion scene he actually begins to interact with the painting. He signals to the miller (a euphemism for God) to stop; and as the miller brings the mill (and seemingly life itself) to a standstill the moment is so unsettling as the windmill, looking mysteriously like the cross Christ has suffered on, turns counterclockwise.

The final shot in this lusciously disconcerting film pans out from the painting "The Way to Calvary" as it hangs in Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and leaves one to ponder the art each of us has seen, and the snapshots in time that art depicts. Majewski's brilliant film gives pause to consider the lives lived behind all the images of all the art over the ages, and so much more.

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