“You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”- Maya Angelou
Black 47 depicted the barren wasteland of death and famine which scourged Ireland between 1845 and1849, in a way that Under the Hawthorn Tree never did.
Although the famine was the backdrop to this story of justice and retribution, the grave circumstances which people endured were in no way portrayed subtly.
“It’s hard to get a premiere and get this acknowledgment on the world stage. I’ve seen Irish producers break their back to get this sort of attention,” said Moe Dunford, who played the role of an officer.
1847 was when the famine was at its worst, leaving many to die of starvation and/or fever. Others left their entire lives behind to make the perilous journey across to America on coffin ships, not unlike those currently making their way across the Mediterranean Sea. A journey which the film indicated one courageous young character took.
This film also serves as a reminder to Irish people, who have endured horrific suffering and genocide at the hands of the British. During the famine, when a poor tax was inflicted, people were trialled in an English speaking court when many people spoke only Gaeilge. Irish people had to denounce their faith in order to get a spoonful of soup. All of these scenarios are seen in throughout the film.
The relationship between Britain and Ireland is more fragile than it has been in recent years due to Brexit’s implications on The Good Friday Agreement. It is crucial to remember why we have this relationship so that the both nation’s peace are respected. Even with the stellar acting, this is the main reason everyone should see Black 47.