Author Topic: Black '47  (Read 624 times)

Offline mikemac

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Black '47
« on: September 10, 2019, 11:25:18 PM »
I watched Black '47 on Netflix last night.  From what I have read I think it depicts western Ireland of 172 years ago fairly accurate.  "Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the film follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. The title is taken from the most devastating year of the famine, 1847, which is referred to as "Black '47"."  It's worth watching.  Lots of Gaelic that's dubbed, with a few Gaelic Irish songs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_%2747_(film)

Quote
Plot

Hannah (Weaving) is a veteran of the British army who is working as an investigator for the Royal Irish Constabulary. While interrogating a member of the Young Irelander movement, Hannah loses his temper over the prisoner's refusal to name names and strangles him.

Martin Feeney (Frecheville) is a former Connaught Ranger, who is returning to Connemara, in the west of Ireland, in 1847. On his arrival home, the country is experiencing the worst year of the Great Famine. Feeney finds his mother has died of starvation and his brother has been hanged, having stabbed a bailiff during his family's eviction. Feeney stays with his brother's widow (Greene), who is squatting in one of the few houses still standing with her three children, and makes plans to emigrate to America and take his brother's family with him. Before they can leave, agents of the local Anglo-Irish landlord and members of the RIC arrive to remove them from the squat. During the eviction, the house is destroyed, Feeney is arrested and his nephew is killed. Feeney is brought for interrogation by the RIC but manages to kill his captors and destroy their barracks. He returns to the house to find his sister-in-law and her daughter have died of exposure after sleeping in the ruin.

The destruction of the barracks draws the attention of British authorities, who suspect Feeney is responsible. Feeney is revealed to be a deserter and Pope (Fox), an arrogant British officer, is assigned to apprehend him with the aid of Hannah, who served with Feeney in Afghanistan. Facing a death sentence for strangling the prisoner at the beginning of the film, Hannah is compelled to assist in the hunt. His feelings are complicated, as Feeney saved his life during the Afghan War. They are joined by Hobson (Keoghan), an idealistic young English private, and later hire Conneely (Rea), a knowledgeable local, to act as a translator from the Irish language. They track Feeney as he hunts down those he blames for the deaths of his family, including a local rent collector, the judge who sentenced his brother and a Protestant preacher who is offering soup to the starving on condition they convert.

Pope's group catch up with Feeney at the home of Cronin (McArdle), the land agent who oversaw his family's eviction, but he escapes after Hobson fails to shoot him when he has the chance. Figuring that his next target is the landlord himself, the group travels to the big house to warn him. Lord Kilmichael (Broadbent) is dismissive of Feeney. Putting a large bounty on his head and surrounding himself with armed police, led by the violent Sergeant Fitzgibbon (Dunford), Kilmichael vows to personally accompany his grain harvest to the railway station where it will be shipped abroad. Outraged by the sight of people starving outside the gates, Private Hobson uses his rifle to attempt to allow the starving people crowded outside the guarded gates to enter and take some grain. He is killed by Sergeant Fitzgibbon. Lord Kilmichael, accompanied by the armed police and the remainder of Pope's posse, arrives at their destination and stays in an inn. Feeney attacks in the night, but falls for a trap set by Pope who is sleeping in Kilmichael's bed. Feeney is able to escape again, however, when Hannah cannot bring himself to shoot him. As he flees, Feeney takes the Lord Kilmichael as a hostage.

The following morning, Hannah is brought out to the yard to be summarily executed by firing squad but is saved by an attack from Feeney. After the soldiers shoot him from his horse, they are stunned to find that they have instead killed Lord Kilmichael, who had been dressed in Feeney's clothes and mounted on his horse.

In the ensuing chaos, the starving people storm the yard and take the grain, a number of local bounty hunters turn against Kilmichael's men and Hannah is freed by Conneely. Fitzgibbon shoots Feeney, but is choked unconscious in a vicious brawl. Hannah steals a horse and attempts to get the wounded Feeney to safety, but Feeney is shot fatally by Pope and dies shortly after their escape. As he is dying, he laments the fate of his family and his country and implores Hannah not to continue the fight, but to go to America, as Feeney had once intended to do.

Seeking vengeance, Hannah follows the badly wounded Pope as he returns to Dublin but stops at a fork in the road where a group of people bound for America have gathered. Among them is Feeney's last remaining relative, his young niece. Pope rides down one path, as the emigrants start down the other. It is not shown which path Hannah takes.
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Offline Prayerful

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Re: Black '47
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2019, 04:29:46 PM »
One key point about An Gorta Mór was that British government of the time decided, unlike states as varied as Belgium, Russia and the Ottomans, and even an earlier British government, not to temporarily restrict the trade in unaffected foodstuffs. A mix of economic ideology and contempt for the Irish, made the Famine, far worse than it could have been.

I plan to watch that film soon.
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Black '47
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 07:59:36 PM »
"Irish Ranger". I like the sound of that.
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Offline mikemac

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Re: Black '47
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 12:33:22 AM »
One key point about An Gorta Mór was that British government of the time decided, unlike states as varied as Belgium, Russia and the Ottomans, and even an earlier British government, not to temporarily restrict the trade in unaffected foodstuffs. A mix of economic ideology and contempt for the Irish, made the Famine, far worse than it could have been.

I plan to watch that film soon.

Yeah, there was clearly a sense of genocide on the part of the English.

Quote
Irish food exports during Famine

Records show that Irish lands exported food even during the worst years of the Famine. When Ireland had experienced a famine in 1782–83, ports were closed to keep Irish-grown food in Ireland to feed the Irish. Local food prices promptly dropped. Merchants lobbied against the export ban, but government in the 1780s overrode their protests.[105] No such export ban happened in the 1840s.[106]

Throughout the entire period of the Famine, Ireland was exporting enormous quantities of food. In the magazine History Ireland (1997, issue 5, pp. 32–36), Christine Kinealy, a Great Hunger scholar, lecturer, and Drew University professor, relates her findings: Almost 4,000 vessels carried food from Ireland to the ports of Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, and London during 1847, when 400,000 Irish men, women, and children died of starvation and related diseases. She also writes that Irish exports of calves, livestock (except pigs), bacon, and ham actually increased during the Famine. This food was shipped from the most famine-stricken parts of Ireland: Ballina, Ballyshannon, Bantry, Dingle, Killala, Kilrush, Limerick, Sligo, Tralee, and Westport. A wide variety of commodities left Ireland during 1847, including peas, beans, onions, rabbits, salmon, oysters, herring, lard, honey, tongues, animal skins, rags, shoes, soap, glue, and seed.

One of the most shocking export figures concern butter. Butter was shipped in firkins, each one holding 9 imperial gallons; 41 litres. In the first nine months of 1847, 56,557 firkins (509,010 imperial gallons; 2,314,000 litres) were exported from Ireland to Bristol, and 34,852 firkins (313,670 imperial gallons; 1,426,000 litres) were shipped to Liverpool, which correlates with 822,681 imperial gallons (3,739,980 litres) of butter exported to England from Ireland during nine months of the worst year of the Famine.[107] The problem in Ireland was not lack of food, which was plentiful, but the price of it, which was beyond the reach of the poor.[108]

Writing in 1849, English poet and social reformer Ebenezer Jones wrote that "In the year A.D. 1846, there were exported from Ireland, 3,266,193 quarters of wheat, barley and oats, besides flour, beans, peas, and rye; 186,483 cattle, 6,363 calves, 259,257 sheep, 180,827 swine; (food, that is, in the shape of meat and bread, for about one half of the Irish population), and yet this very year of A.D. 1846 was pre-eminently, owing to a land monopoly, the famine year for the Irish people."[109]

The historian Cecil Woodham-Smith wrote in The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845–1849 that no issue has provoked so much anger and embittered relations between England and Ireland "as the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throughout the period when the people of Ireland were dying of starvation".[110] John Ranelagh writes that Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout most of the five-year famine.[111] However, both Woodham-Smith and Cormac Ó Gráda write that, in addition to the maize imports, four times as much wheat was imported into Ireland at the height of the famine as exported primarily to be used as livestock feed.[112][113]
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Offline Bernadette

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Re: Black '47
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 06:53:32 AM »
Darn, I just canceled netflix. :'(
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Black '47
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2019, 07:59:54 AM »
Thanks for posting this!
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 
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