A highly rated movie about the Great Famine has been completed and a release date for early September has been set.
The film – called ‘Black 47’ is set in 1847, during the Famine, which saw Ireland’s population halve after over a million people died and a million more emigrated.
It features rising star Barry Keoghan, who film fans will recognise from last year’s Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
It also stars James Frecheville, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent and Stephen Rea, and is directed by Lance Daly.
The film follows the story of an Irish ranger (played by Frecheville) who has been fighting for the British abroad.
Despite having witnessed the horrors of war, he is still shocked when he returns home to Ireland and witnesses the devastating effects of the Famine.
Australian actor Frecheville was so dedicated to his character that he learned the Irish language in preparation for playing the role.
He said: “It’s hard to say where the challenge was because it’s all challenging – it’s all very cold. I’m not so good at learning languages so to pick up a language that not a great number of people speak was pretty tough – but apparently, I passed a few tests. We’ll still have to see what the public thinks.”
Black 47 premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February and received highly positive reviews and has since opened the Audi Dublin International Film Festival and Belfast Film Festival.
Variety magazine wrote: “A resonant, beautifully performed Irish Western that does overdue cinematic justice to the Famine.”
Many people believe the Great Famine to be Ireland’s Holocaust or genocide due to the actions of the British government.
While the failure of the potato crops was a natural disaster, the famine was a result of the failings – and wilful neglect – of the government.
The film will be released in Ireland on 7th September.
Checkout the film trailer and synopsis below;
“It’s 1847 and Ireland is in the grip of the Great Famine that has ravaged the country for two long years. Feeney, a hardened Irish Ranger who has fought for the British Army abroad, abandons his post to return home and reunite with his estranged family.
“He’s seen more than his share of horrors, but nothing prepares him for the famine’s hopeless destruction of his homeland that has brutalised his people and where there seems to be no law and order. He discovers his mother starved to death and his brother hanged by the brutal hand of the English. With little else to live for, he sets a destructive path to avenge his family. Hannah, an ageing British soldier and famed tracker of deserters, is sent to stop Feeney before he can further stoke the fires of revolution.
“But Hannah and Feeney are old army comrades, forged by their time fighting together. Personal bonds and shifting allegiances cause both men to question their motives, as they are tested to the limit by the hellish landscape of ‘The Great Hunger’.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling