Powerful Irish Famine drama Black 47 earns rave reviews from critics and audiences alike

Powerful Irish Famine drama Black 47 earns rave reviews from critics and audiences alike

A NEW film centred on the most devastating year of the Great Irish Fame has been earning positive reviews from critics since its release.

Black 47 stars James Frecheville as Irish Ranger Martin Feeney who deserts his regiment fighting the British Army abroad to reunite with his family back home.

Upon his return, however, he is shocked to discover the trail of destruction left across his homeland by the famine and the brutalisation of his people and family.

Directed by Lance Daly, the film's title Black 47 refers to the year 1847, widely viewed as the most devastating year of the Great Irish Famine.

As many as a million people died in the famine with another million emigrating to various corners of the world as a result.


Based on a 2008 Irish language short titled An Ranger, Black 47 is a western-style revenge thriller boasting an impressive cast that includes Hugo Weaving and Ireland's very own Stephen Rea along with the brilliant Barry Keoghan.

It's also a box office hit in Ireland, earning €444,000 (£395,000) in its opening weekend - the biggest gross for an Irish film in Ireland this year.



Black 47 has garnered positive reviews from the critics too.

Paul Whitington, from the Irish Independent, wrote: "Black 47 succeeds magnificently in evoking the misery of the Famine while simultaneously treating us to a rattling adventure yarn."


Donald Clarke from the Irish Times added: "The grey pools of Declan Quinn's cinematography and the evocative strains of Brian Byrne's score - keening traditional flourishes balanced by angular melodies - keep the brain twitching in even the glummest moments."

Hilary A White, from the Sunday Independent, meanwhile, said: "While rough around the edges, taken as a gothic-tinged swashbuckler that delights in its comic book tendencies, [Black 47] is fun and effective."

RTE's Harry Guerin was similarly impressed, writing: "Like Feeney, this story takes no prisoners, with the narrative pitching two desperate men against each other for nothing more than another day's survival amidst all the devastation."

Black 47 is in cinemas now.