Irish director of Oscar-shortlisted James Bulger film explains not consulting child's parents

Irish director of Oscar-shortlisted James Bulger film explains not consulting child's parents

THE IRISH director of a short film based on the murder of two-year-old James Bulger has explained his decision not to consult the toddler’s parents.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Vincent Lambe said that his 30-minute drama Detainment ‘probably wouldn’t have been made’ if he had asked the family.

Lambe said humanising Jon Venables and Robert Thompson was the first step to understanding their motives and preventing similar cases.

When host Ben Shephard asked Lambe why he hadn’t contacted the family, the filmmaker said: “I thought about it a lot.


“I think they wouldn’t want a film like this to be made.”

Co-host Kate Garraway asked Lambe if he was worried to approach James’ mother Denise for permission in case she said no.

“Yeah, then it probably wouldn’t have been made,” replied Lambe.

'Human beings'

Detainment is based on police interview transcripts with Thompson and Venables, then both 10, who were found guilty in 1993 of the murder of Bulger in Merseyside, England.

The high-profile case of modern England’s youngest convicted killers sent shockwaves across the country and beyond.

Lambe said that during his research, he began seeing a different side of the story but said his film is entirely factual with no embellishments.


Pressed further by Shephard on his motivations, Lambe said: “The reason I made the film is because I think general opinion at the moment is that the reason they did it is because they were simply evil and born evil and I don’t think that’s an adequate explanation.

“I think it’s important to get a deeper understanding of it and to look into it and the first step to doing that is to start seeing them as human beings.

“If people can’t acknowledge that they were human they’ll never be able to begin to understand what could have driven them to do it and if people don’t understand it then it could happen again.

“It’s in that vein that the film was made, it’s not meant to be sympathetic to them.”

Detainment, which has already won a host of awards, is shortlisted for the Best Short Film Oscar.