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08.54 6 Feb 2019


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Pat Kenny is joined by Brenda Power and Donal Lynch to discuss the short film Detainment and whether or not it should be removed from the Oscar nominations.

Irish writer and director Vincent Lambe’s film Detainment has garnered a lot of attention following its nomination for an Oscar in the Best Live Action Short category.

Denise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, has said she is “disgusted and upset” that the film about his killers has been nominated for an Oscar.

The film is based on transcripts of police interviews with the two young boys convicted of murdering the two-year-old in Liverpool in 1993.

A Public or Private Matter?

Speaking to The Pat Kenny Show, journalist Brenda Power spoke of her belief that the filmmakers had done a disservice to the Bulger family by not consulting them or seeking permission to use their story.

"I wonder would they have been treated with better consideration had they been a well-to-do middle-class family, I think they would"
Brenda Power

However Donal Lynch disagreed, questioning whether the family own the story. He defended the filmmakers use of documents and transcripts that were in the public domain because the parents of James Bulger had "already reproduced [them] in books they wrote."

Controversy

Since its Academy Award nomination, the Irish short film has divided audiences over its use of the Bulger story. A petition was created in a bid to convince the awards to revoke their nomination, racking up over 250,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Despite this public outcry, Detainment remains in the running for Best Live Action Short at this year's Oscars, which takes place on February 25th.

Listen to the full podcast here:

Should 'Detainment' be removed from the Oscars?

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

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