Denise Ferguson (pictured above) said Vincent Lambe had ‘not bothered to ask her permission’ before making the film
The mother of James Bulger has penned a heartfelt letter calling on the director of a controversial film about her son’s murder to withdraw the picture from the Oscars, as a petition to pull it hits 220,000 signatures.
The film, called Detainment, which re-enacts scenes after the murder of James Bulger, has been shortlisted for an Oscar.
A petition was launched three weeks ago and has since garnered over 220,000 signatures of its 300,000 target.
James Bulger’s mother Denise Ferguson has now spoken out about how the director of the film Vincent Lambe ‘hadn’t even bothered’ to ask her permission before making the film and accused Mr Lambe of using what happened to her son ‘to make a name for yourself’.
In a letter penned to the director she said: ‘Dear Mr Lambe, I cannot express how deeply upset I am about the way you have gone about making your short film DETAINMENT about the murder of my son James.
‘You didn’t consider myself or any of my family, when you decided to make this film, you had long enough to contact myself and you never bothered to even try and make contact to ask permission.
Vincent Lamb (pictured above) had previously admitted that he had not been in touch with Ms Ferguson to discuss the film
‘You state that if you had asked me I would of said NO, you never even gave me that chance! If you had of done it this could of been very different, I still feel hurt and upset at you going in this direction to make this film.’
Ms Ferguson said Mr Lambe had not contacted her and gone ahead and used a young child to play the part of her ‘baby James’.
She added: ‘The re-enactment of that child being led away like the final hours of James’ life has brought it back to me and it hurts so much I’ve even been told you placed a picture of the young child in amongst flowers, this absolutely sickens me.
The film reenacts scenes following the murder of James Bulger by Jon Venables (pictured above) and Robert Thompson
‘All this has bought so much pain to me and it feels like I’m living that nightmare again back in 1993, The only good thing I try to clutch at is that young child got to go home to their parents, James never did.
‘I honestly don’t think you realise just how upset I am feeling, I also feel for the young actors who played the parts of T & V, god only knows what was going on in their heads at the time this film was made, I hope you put in place any requirements those actors might need.’
She urged Mr Lambe to do the ‘right thing’ and urged him to remove the film from the Oscars and from public viewing and added that people may think better of him if he pulled the controversial film.
‘I have seen you have done many interviews to try and justify this film one particular interview that sent shivers done my spine was when Claire Byrne interviewed you and as she spoke about watching this film that caused distress to her and she needed to stop and cuddle her children, You sat there and chuckled!
‘I want to finish by saying this, James was my baby and not yours and it certainly wasn’t ‘your responsibility’ to tell it, you have no right to use what happened to my son as a way to try and make a name for yourself!
‘I’m sure you are aware about the petition a member of the public set up after they saw me being interviewed over this and as we currently speak over 220,000 signatures have signed for the film to be removed, I ask you to please do this for me and my family.’
Speaking to Metro.co.uk when the nomination was revealed, a spokesperson for The Academy Awards ceremony said: ‘The Academy offers its deepest condolences to Ms. Fergus and her family.
Ely Solan (pictured above) was cast as Jon Venables by writer-director Vincent Lambe
‘We are deeply moved and saddened by the loss that they have endured, and we take their concerns very seriously.
‘Following longstanding foundational principles established to maintain the integrity of the awards, the Academy does not in any way influence the voting process.
‘Detainment was voted on by Academy members. When making their choices, each individual applies their own judgment regarding the films’ creative, artistic and technical merits.
‘We understand that this will not alleviate the pain experienced by the family; however we hope it clarifies the Academy’s neutral role in the voting process.’
Ms Ferguson traveled to Dublin this week to speak about the film and claimed that the Irish director was ‘obsessed with the case.
Leon Hughes (pictured above) was cast as Robert Thompson in the Oscar nominated film
‘I thought it was important that I come to Ireland and speak out, he’s been over to my neck of the woods,’ Ms Fergus said.
‘The support I’ve received in Ireland has been great, the support from everywhere has been great really, people can’t believe he would go ahead with this without consulting James’ family.
‘If you look on his (Lambe’s) social media, he tweets constantly about the film and the case, I think he’s obsessed.
‘I think he’s seen the potential for controversy and exploited it to get more promotion for the film.’
However Ms Ferguson added that she was too angry and emotional with Mr Lambe to sit down with him and discuss her intentions.
‘I think it’s better for everyone if I just speak to him through the letter,’ she said.
‘In every case there are families and victims and I think that can get lost in the media frenzy.
‘I’m living this nightmare, I have to go through all this again and I wanted him to know how I’m feeling.
‘I don’t think he ever thought about how this would affect me, or my family, or even the witnesses who saw James being led away, they’re seeing themselves being played in film now, reliving that day again.’
Ms Fergus added that she hoped to visit Dublin again in happier circumstances and said that she has received messages of support from all over Ireland.
‘There’s actually a memorial brick with James’ name on it in the Aviva Stadium that a supporter bought for us when they were building it, it’s those little things of support that mean so much to me.’
In a statement responding to the controversy, Mr Lambe said he had ‘enormous sympathy for the Bulger family and I am extremely sorry for any upset the film may have caused them’.
‘With hindsight I am sorry I did not make Ms Fergus aware of the film. I would be happy to meet with her privately now to make an apology in person.’