Much anticipated "Black 47", about Ireland's famine, is to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, which runs from Feb 15 to 25.
The movie is set in 1847 – the worst year of the Famine – when the potatoes were black with blight, the smell of disease hung in the air and death was everywhere. Feeney, a young Irishman, returns after serving abroad with the British Army in Afghanistan. He’s been to war, he’s seen death but nothing could prepare him for what awaits him home in Ireland.
His mother is found wilting away from hunger until death finally claims her. His brother has been hanged by the authorities. Everywhere around him there is decay and destruction.
He deserts the Army and plots a revolution in revenge. But the Army isn’t finished with him just yet: desertion is a crime and an ageing British soldier is sent out to find him and bring him to heel.
Filmed in Wicklow and Connemara, the movie was inspired by a previous Irish language short film called “An Ranger” about a soldier in the Connaught Rangers who returns home during the Great Hunger and decides to seek revenge for what he sees.
Starring Aussie actor James Frenchville, who appeared in "Animal Kingdom" and "The Drop," as Feeney, Hugo Weaving ("Hacksaw Ridge," "The Lord of the Rings," "The Matrix" and "Transformers" franchises) will play the part of Hannah, the soldier sent to track him down.
Dubliner Barry Keogh, who shot to prominence following his performance in "Dunkirk" last year, also makes an appearance.
Macdara Kelleher, producer of the film, said “It's an honor to be premiering 'Black 47' at one of the world's most prestigious festivals, alongside truly great filmmakers. There’s a strong history of major films launching in Berlin and we can’t wait for the world to see this epic Irish famine story”.
The trailer for the movie is currently being put together and dates for its release in Ireland and America are still being finalized.