Even before the Oscar nominations were announced, Denise Fergus was against Detainment, the 30-minute film that dramatizes the 1993 kidnapping and murder of her 2-year-old son, James Bulger, by two 10-year-old boys near Liverpool.
When it was officially nominated in the category of Best Live Action Short Film, she didn’t hold back.
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This is all I want to say at present. pic.twitter.com/GbyshtVoa9— Denise Fergus (@Denise_fergus) January 22, 2019
Detainment, which was written and produced by Vincent Lambe, is based on taped interviews and other records taken from the case, in which James was abducted from the grocery store, where he was with his mother.
Fergus, who refused to attend the trial of her son’s young killers, and James’s father, Ralph Bulger, both said they were not consulted before the film was made.
“The first I heard about the film was just before Christmas,” Fergus told Britain’s ITV on January 7. “They should have got in contact and let us know.”
Fergus urged people to boycott the Oscar-nominated movie, which has already won awards at international film festivals.
“I don’t want to keep reliving the past. I haven’t watched it, and I won’t,” Fergus said. “It takes you right back to that day, and that’s not something I want to do.”
She also promoted a Change.org petition to stop the film from being shown. It’s now been adjusted to have its Oscar nomination rescinded. More than 103,000 people have signed.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not immediately respond to Yahoo’s request for comment.
For his part, Lambe apologised for not consulting the Bulger family in a post dated January 6.