Why “Detainment” Stirs Controversy in Britain?

By: Norhan Mahmoud

CAIRO, Jan. 27 (SEE)- Vincent Lambe’s 30-minute film “Detainment” was nominated for an Oscar in the short film category, but why does such announcement upset Britons?

It is all due to reviving the agony of James Bulger’s family, more than 25 years after his death.

In 1993, two ten-year-old boys abducted two-year-old Bulger away from his mother from a shopping mall in Bootle, Merseyside then tormentingly murdered him at the railway.

The movie’s storyline recounts the interrogation of Bulger’s killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, based on official documents, video footage and police proceedings.

Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus was deeply inflicted by the scenes and called upon the rescinding of the movie’s nomination.

Backing Bulger’s parents, thousands signed an online petition demanding the exclusion of “Detainment” from the list.

Lambe said in a statement that the suffering experienced by Bulger’s family was not purposeful, adding that in spite of the agonizing nature of the case, yet he reckons rationalizing the incident is a duty of all. 

The academy body issued a statement to disassociate itself from the dilemma, pointing out that the selection is an independent process made by the members in relation to the “film’s creative, artistic and technical merits.” 

The statement also stated that although the the academy was “deeply moved and saddened” by the suffering of Bulger’s family, yet the candidacy will not be canceled. 

On February 24, Oscar winners will be declared at a ceremony in Hollywood.

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