Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Ireland’s Great Hunger Revenge Movie Finally Premieres
By Tom Deignan, Columnist
April / May 2018
The long-awaited Irish Great Hunger movie Black 47 premiered in February at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival. The movie is expected to open in Ireland later this year and though there has not yet been any official word on an American release date, it’s a safe bet this all-important film will cross the Atlantic.
Though it is the defining experience of Ireland’s history, the Great Hunger has not yet been explored in any great cinematic depth. Black 47, named after the worst year of the potato blight, seeks to change that. The film is a revenge story, revolving around an Irishman named Feeney, played by James Frecheville (pictured above), who leaves Ireland to serve in the British military. When he returns home, he sees firsthand how the blight is devastating his family – and his country. This prompts Feeney, and others, to take up arms. Soon enough, Feeney’s former acquaintances from the British military are sent to Ireland to stop him.
Black 47 is based on the 2013 Irish language short An Ranger, which you can watch here courtesy of the Irish Film Board:
Black 47 is directed by Lance Daly (Kisses, Life’s a Breeze), a veteran of Irish cinema. It also stars Oscar nominee Stephen Rea (Michael Collins, The Crying Game), up-and-comer Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) as well as Irish stars Moe Dunford and Sarah Greene. ♦
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I hope to see this. It truly shows how their own people could be as bad the English. The line that got me is ‘it was the British who did that to your mother, his reply, but they are strangers…
‘An Ranger’ is a fine piece of drama no doubt, but we should not equate the inevitable presence of human greed and of people always with an eye to the main chance, with the pitilessness and adherence to ideological dogma in the face of mass starvation and disease of officialdom.