THE MILL & THE CROSS
(Poland/Sweden - 2011)
The painting puts Christ's crucifixion in a contemporary 16th century Flanders, where Bruegel and his friend and benefactor Peter Jonghelink (Michael York) witness Protestant Flemish persecution at the hands of the Catholics of the Spanish Militia. Using the crucifixion as an allegory for the atrocities committed by the Spanish Catholics, Bruegel observes all and conveys it in his art, and Majewski, in effect, turns the film into a living, breathing painting. It's hard to describe and I didn't really get what the film was going for just by reading about it. But seeing it...you've never seen anything like it. The detail and depth of every shot is simply astonishing, and the film is at its best when Majewski just lets the camera roam around "the painting" and we see the painstakingly recreated daily routine of Flemish life.
(Japan - 2010; 2011 US release)