Rutger Hauer - Peter Bruegel
Michael York - Art collecting banker
Charlotte Rampling - Mary
Michael Francis Gibson and Lech Majewski
Set in the 16th century, in the Netherlands, it combines the story of Christ’s passion with the torment in the Flanders caused by Spanish political and religious oppression.
The film is inspired by the famous Pieter Breugel's painting ''The Procession to Calvary'' dating 1564.
The idea for 'The Mill And The Cross' came from a book devoted to Bruegel's painting, 'Christ Carrying A Cross', written by Herald Tribune art critic Michael F. Gibson. The art connoisseur was familiar with Majewski's experimental yet picturesque style and approached the Polish filmmaker with the idea to jointly create a script inspired by this Bruegel's masterpiece.
Out of over 500 characters presented in the original painting, Lech chose a dozen whose stories interweave in the movie's plot.
Lech stated, 'I usually make films about artists for the simple reason that I prefer them to gangsters and policemen. I don’t suspect the latter of having something interesting to tell; meanwhile an artist may reveal an unknown world to me'.
Lech Majewski, Michael York, Joanna Litwin, Rutger Hauer and Charlotte Rampling at the press conference in Katowice (Poland) in 2008