The film, Black ’47 highlights the year of 1847 during the ‘Great Famine’ also called the ‘Irish Potato Famine’ of 1845-49. Potato blight brought starvation, death and disease to Ireland and the country’s population never recovered. The actual famine itself is controversial as the British regime continued to feed its soldiers and export crops.
In 1847, an Irish mercenary who was fighting for the British Army ,abandoned his post to seek revenge on those deemed responsible for the death of his family.
The mercenary is played by Australian/English actor, who is best known for his roles as Agent Smith in The Matrix Trilogy and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. His performance is powerful and contrasts with some of the screen images highlighting powerlessness and hope lost.
Commencing with a haunting song in Irish, much of the setting is in the Gaeltacht region of Connemara. I resided there in 2006 and was an extra in the Irish language series, Ros na Run. Directed by Lance Daly, Black ’47 has been a box office hit in Ireland.
Image: James Frecheville and Hugo Weaving feature in Black ’47 (supplied)
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan