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Detainment (2018)

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Two ten year-old boys are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler. A true story based on interview transcripts and records from the James Bulger case, which shocked the world in 1993.

Director:

Vincent Lambe

Writer:

Vincent Lambe
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ely Solan Ely Solan ... Jon
Leon Hughes Leon Hughes ... Robert
Will O'Connell ... Detective Dale
David Ryan ... Detective Scott
Tara Breathnach Tara Breathnach ... Susan Venables
Morgan C. Jones ... Detective Roberts
Brian Fortune ... Detective Jacobs
Kathy Monahan ... Ann Thompson
Killian Sheridan Killian Sheridan ... Neil Venables
Martin Phillips Martin Phillips ... Jon's Solicitor
Caleb Mason Caleb Mason ... James
Barbara Adair Barbara Adair ... Mrs. Garrity
Julie Lockey Julie Lockey ... Mrs. Johnson
Helen Roche Helen Roche ... Mrs. Wilson
Tom Pigot Tom Pigot ... Robert's Solicitor
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Storyline

Two ten year-old boys are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler. A true story based on interview transcripts and records from the James Bulger case, which shocked the world in 1993.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Detainment See more »

Filming Locations:

Dublin, Ireland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twelve Media See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While he didn't need to, director Vincent Lambe didn't ask the permission of James Bulger's parents to make this film and was therefore made without their consent. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2019: Live Action (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Review by David James Smith (author, 'The Sleep of Reason: The James Bulger Case)
9 January 2019 | by film-reviewSee all my reviews

I thought Detainment was a remarkable achievement, a compelling and disturbing evocation of those events, which I know all too well and remain deeply troubling even after 25 years.

The film was authentic and brilliantly cast especially the two boys who perpetrated the killing of James Bulger. While I could imagine some would recoil from the idea of dramatising such a terrible crime, I thought the film was both unflinching and also sensitive to the ongoing trauma.

If audiences are willing, they will find in the film the truth of the two boys and their inescapable smallness - they were just ten, after all - which only serves to make the incident as unfathomable now as it was in 1993.

As Detainment I think seeks to explore, even though the killing is painfully difficult to comprehend we have a responsibility, not only to the victim and the perpetrators but also to ourselves, to try and make sense of what happened. In that way the film avoids prurience and shows us two boys of primary school age who are not the evil monsters of popular imagination but only human after all.

I hope the film finds the wider audience it very much deserves.

-- David James Smith (author, 'The Sleep of Reason: The James Bulger Case')


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