If you haven’t been following the Irish box office, this new drama will definitely catch your attention, as it bursts into American theaters. “Black 47” is a fictional period drama directed by Lance Daly and based on the short Irish film “An Ranger.” The title “Black 47” is a reference to 1847, the most devastating year during the Great Famine, and holds more significance than you think.
For those who need to brush up on their history, the Great Famine in Ireland was caused by a blight ravaging the potato crops, leaving the Irish peasants starving while the ruling British Empire withheld food and resources. Between the people starving to death and fleeing the country for their lives, the year 1847 saw the greatest population decline in Irish history and left a scar on the country for centuries to come.
Yet despite the Famine having such a huge impact on the Irish and their culture, “Black 47” will be the first full-length feature film on the event ever made. That puts a lot of pressure on Daly and the cast to capture not only the historical accuracy but the intense emotional plight of an entire generation. Based on public response, though, it looks like they did a pretty good job.
“Black 47” debuted at the Berlin Film Festival back in spring and was released in Ireland last month. The film had the highest-grossing opening weekend in Ireland since 2015’s “Brooklyn,” and has claimed the title of highest-grossing Irish film in Ireland as well.
Starring Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, and Sarah Greene, “Black 47” is one film you don’t want to miss out on.
Here’s the trailer and official synopsis:
One man’s ruthless pursuit of justice plays out against the darkest chapter of Irish history in this riveting revenge thriller. In 1847, battle-hardened soldier Feeney (James Frecheville) deserts the British army to return home to Ireland, where he finds his country ravaged beyond recognition by the Great Famine. When he discovers that his mother has died of starvation and his brother has been hanged by the British, something snaps, sending Feeney on a relentless quest to get even with the powers-that-be who have wronged both his family and his country. There is only one man who can stop Feeney’s bloody crusade: disgraced British army veteran Hannah (Hugo Weaving), whose own loyalties may be more complex than they appear…