the mill and the cross

Politics, religion, and art are three aspects of human nature which manifest in any given era. So recorded history shows us, as does the remarkable film The Mill and the Cross (2011). Fortunately for the viewer, art has the upper hand here. Nothing less than a Bruegel painting come to life, there's no plot as such, simply random moments and beautiful tableaux. Even the more brutal events (of which life in the Middle Ages had plenty) are artfully displayed. Rutger Hauer, Michael York, and Charlotte Rampling add gravitas to the proceedings. Pacing is slow, dialogue is minimal, and the combination of naturalism and artifice may not be to everyone's taste. That said, The Mill and the Cross provides a unique and possibly profound experience for anyone willing to sit back and let a painting tell its tale.

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