Irish filmmaker Frank Berry continues his filmic commentary on Ireland’s social and political institutions with his new project Provisions. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the Berry-written-and-directed feature is set to star Letitia Wright (Black Panther, Mangrove) and Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country).
The two young actors are increasingly sought after talents in the industry, with Wright receiving BAFTA’s Rising Star Award for Black Panther in 2019 and O’Connor fresh off a Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Prince Charles in The Crown. Both stars add Provisions to their growing lists of upcoming projects. Wright is set to appear in the Murder on the Orient Express sequel Death on the Nile coming out this fall, and O’Connor will appear in the film Mothering Sunday alongside Colin Firth and Olivia Coleman also set for a 2021 release.
Provisions, like Berry’s 2017 film Michael Inside which dealt with the harsh realities and long-term effects of incarceration, picks at another tender subject in Irish society, this time, the country’s asylum system.
The story is centered around Ishtar Deresse (Wright), a Nigerian refugee who seeks asylum in Ireland after her dead brother’s drug debt threatens her safety back home. She finds herself in the Irish system for over two years, moved from one center to the next, experiencing over-crowdedness, deplorable conditions, and the constant threat of deportation.
While held at one of the asylum centers, she is befriended by the young security guard Conor Healy (O’Connor), who had previously spent time in prison and empathizes with Ishtar’s confinement. The two form a bond, but while Conor is in full control of his person and his life, Ishtar is not allotted the same rights. As their relationship intensifies, they feel more and more at the mercy of higher authorities and the life-altering decisions they get to make.
Filming is scheduled to begin in Ireland next month. Subotica Entertainment’s Donna Eperon, Aoife O’Sullivan and Tristan Orpen Lynch are listed as producers on Provisions.