A short-film based on a true story and directed by an Irishman is coming under serious controversy worldwide.
The film, Detainment, is written and directed by Vincent Lambe and follows the story of the untimely death of James Bulger.
Two-year-old Bulger was abducted at a Liverpool Shopping Centre by two ten-year-old boys who later killed the toddler at a railway track using bricks and physical force.
The film is based on the interview transcripts of the killers, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who were convicted of the crime in the early 90s but are now released and live under different names.
Detainment has made the Oscars shortlist in the ‘Live Action Shorts’ Category but calls have been made by Bulgers’ parents to remove the film from the list.
Lambe has apologised to both of James’ parents, Denise Fergus and Ralph Bulger about any upset that may have been caused by the movie but Denise believes that Lambe used this movie to “big up his career”.
She told Loose Women on Monday that the film was not consulted with her and that Lambe “didn’t have the right to do it.”
“In my own personal opinion I think he’s just trying to big his career up. And to do that under someone else’s grief is just unbelievable and unbearable.”
These beliefs are something that were mirrored by Bulgers’ father Ralph who said that of all the documentaries he has seen about his son’s murder, he has never been so “cut up and offended” as he has been about this film and he believes it shows very little “compassion to James and the family”.
Director Lambe told Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ Radio One that he was “incredibly sorry for any upset the film has caused the family.”
“It was never intended to bring any more anguish to the Bulger family.”
“In hindsight I think we probably should have got in touch or let her know we were going to make it.”
“There’s more than one perspective on the case and we wanted to make a film that was impartial and focuses solely on the factual material which has been public knowledge for 25 years.
“And we decided not to contact any of the family for that reason, because if you contact one family then there’s pressure to tell it from the way they want it to be told.
“Contacting the families doesn’t change what’s in this transcript but most likely it would change what would be in the film and then you’re suppressing information and you’re telling a version of the truth.”