The Mill and The Cross is based on a script created by Majewski and Herald Tribune art critic Michael Gibson, who approached the Polish filmmaker with an idea of a film inspired by Peter Breugel's painting Christ Carrying A Cross. Out of over 500 characters presented in the original painting, Majewski chose a dozen to create the movie's plot. The action of the film takes place in 1564, the year Bruegel created the painting, and it joins the theme of Christ's suffering with the political and religious oppression of Flanders at the time.
Rutger Hauer who plays Pieter Bruegel is joined by Michael York starring as an art collecting banker, Charlotte Rampling as Mary, and Polish actress Joanna Litwin as the painter's wife. The director, known for his experimental techniques, decided against a historical narrative and will instead work with multilevel film shots and computer and 3D techniques.
The shoot took place in several locations in Silesia starting November 21, 2008. The movie was produced by Angelus Silesius Society, a company co-funded by Majewski, with a budget of PLN 4.2 million (€1.1 million). The main funding comes from Polish TV (www.tvp.pl) and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl), which granted the title €390,000 for production. The other companies participating in the film are Film Institution "Silesia Film", Arkana Studio, Supra Film, Odeon, 24 Media, Swedish company Bokomotiv, and Piramida.
Script: Lech Majewski, Michael Gibson
Camera: Adam Sikora, Lech Majewski
Art design: Katarzyna Sobańska
Production company: Angelus Silesius, Telewizja Polska