One of the short films nominated this week for an Academy Award is causing controversy across the pond.
The live-action short film “Detainment”, directed by Vincent Lambe, is about the true story of a 1993 British criminal case in which two 10-year-old boys lured 2-year-old James Bulger away from a shopping centre and then tortured and killed him.
Seeing news of the film’s Oscar nomination on Tuesday, the murdered boy’s mother, Denise Fergus spoke out against the film on Twitter.
“I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am that this so-called film has been made and now nominated for an Oscar,” she wrote.
Fergus also said the filmmaker never attempted to contact her or James’ father in making the film.
On Thursday, Lambe responded to Fergus’ criticism, telling the BBC, “I won’t withdraw it from the Oscars.”
He added, “It’s like saying we should burn every copy of it. I think it would defeat the purpose of making the film.”
Lambe also defended the film, explaining, “The public opinion at the moment now is that those two boys were simply evil and anybody who says anything different or gives an alternate reason as to why they did it or tries to understand why they did it, they get criticized for it. I think we have the responsibility to try and make sense of what happened.”
According to Variety, a petition against the film collected nearly 100,000 signatures.
The two boys involved in the case were held in detention until 2001 when they turned 18, at which point they were released on parole and given new identities.
“Detainment” used transcripts of interviews with the two boys to recreate the horrific events on-screen.