PODCAST| Nicolò Comotti interviews Stephen Rea and James Frecheville, actors of the film Black 47.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
Stephen Rea and James Frecheville join us for a chat regarding their latest work with director Lance Daly, here in competition at the Berlinale with his latest feature Black 47. We had to wait 150 years to have the first film to thoroughly tackle the despicable injustice perpetrated by the British Empire between 1845 and 1852, which caused at least one million people to die of starvation, and triggered the mass exodus of the Irish people to North America. To this day, Ireland has a population that is inferior to what it was at the beginning of the 19th century. In 2018, we can claim a bit of justice through the vengeful throttle Martin Feeney, granitically played by James Frecheville.
Black 47: Ireland, 1847. After fighting for the British crown in the war in Afghanistan, Martin Feeney returns to his Irish homeland as a deserter. He finds his country in dire straits. Potato blight has destroyed the crops and over a million people have perished in the resulting famine. Martin’s family has also been affected: his mother is among the victims and his brother has been sentenced to death by the British occupying forces. Martin’s plan to emigrate to the USA with his sister-in-law and her children fails, and witnessing his last remaining relatives wasting away almost robs him of the will to live. In desperation, he begins a bloody vendetta across the social and political hierarchy of Ireland. To stop this wrathful avenger, the British hire Hannah who fought with Martin in Afghanistan. Lance Daly draws on motifs from the western for his drama about a dark chapter of British colonialism in neighbouring Ireland that has rarely been told on the big screen. The gritty realism of the film’s photography conveys the misery of a suffering people and describes individuals cast adrift in austere landscapes.
To discover more about the film, click here.