Denise Fergus is calling for the documentary ‘Detainment’ to be boycotted and pulled from Oscar consideration.
‘Detainment,’ by Irish filmmaker Vincent Lambe, has been nominated for the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar this year. The 30-minute documentary tells the story of the abduction and murder of Denise Fergus’s 2-year-old son Jamie Bulger by 10-year-olds Jon Venables and Robert Thompson in 1993.
At the center of the controversy is Fergus's assertion that Lambe never consulted her nor her family before making the film.
On January 6, after 'Detainment' was shortlisted for an Oscar, Lambe shared on Twitter a statement after the film garnered significant backlash:
My Statement addressing questions which have arisen from the short film 'Detainment': pic.twitter.com/cAkXzHc6gV— Vincent Lambe (@vincentlambe1) January 6, 2019
On January 22, Fergus posted to Twitter a statement in which she said she was “disgusted” that the film was nominated for an Oscar:
This is all I want to say at present. pic.twitter.com/GbyshtVoa9— Denise Fergus (@Denise_fergus) January 22, 2019
She writes: “It’s one thing making a film like this without contacting or getting permission from James family but another to have a child re-enact the final hours of James’s life before he was brutally murdered and making myself and my family have to relive this all over again!”
An online petition to have the film withdrawn from Oscar consideration has gained nearly 230,000 signatures.
Speaking with Claire Byrne Live on Monday night in Ireland, Fergus said: “I have seen the trailer but I tried not seeing the child that was playing James, I didn’t want to see that but I seen it on the news one night.”
James Bulger's mother Denise Fergus reacts to Irish film "Detainment".— RTÉ ClaireByrneLive (@ClaireByrneLive) January 28, 2019
Denise Fergus and her husband Stuart give their reaction to the making of the Oscar-nominated Irish film about the murder of her son
Denise_fergus @stuartfergus https://t.co/MWE5SXKQH5
“Just to see that, it just took me right back, it really did destroy me.”
“It was like it was James but it wasn’t him. To get a child to play him without my permission, I just don’t know what he was thinking of.”
“I would ask him to pull this film from the nomination because I don’t think it was right he done it in the first place.”
“I don’t know what he wanted to gain from it to be quite honest. I can’t sit in front of him because he’s done it behind my back. I just wanted to know why [Vincent] didn’t inform us.”
“He had plenty of opportunities to do so. He said that he didn’t want us to know because we didn’t want the film to go ahead. That wasn’t the case at all.”
In a statement, the film’s creator Vincent Lambe said he did not consult Jamie Bulger's family and "relied solely on transcripts and the factual material" in hopes of remaining "impartial" while creating the film.
Watch the trailer for ‘Detainment’ here:
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