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Abernathy wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:23 am
AOB wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:58 am
The memory for me is still raw.


I feel uneasy that this film was made without the family's consent, let alone any lack of communication, and the fact it is up for awards.That some glory could possibly be had by the makers just feels wrong.
Is your view purely coloured by your proximity to the events of the time?

I agree with you that it was wrong of the film maker not to have informed the parents of James Bulger of his project, and indeed I understand Mr Lambe has voiced some contrition on the particular point.

But I'd say it has been nominated for an award not because of its subject matter, but for its technical and artistic merits. I'd be very uncomfortable with say, Denise Fergus having a right of veto over any artistic enterprise touching on her son's awful case.
Abernathy wrote:
I'd be very uncomfortable with say, Denise Fergus having a right of veto over any artistic enterprise touching on her son's awful case.
I am, as well to be honest. My leaning would probably be clearer without my proximity to events. I can see, albeit unclearly, over both sides of this fence, I'm uneasy both ways. Where would the line to be drawn regarding true tragedies in drama, if the families had to give consent? There have been countless involving serial killers, and I doubt very much whether, for example, Ted Bundy's victims families were consulted for one of his biographical film/tv films. There's even a musical called Titanic-The Musical. but would Aberfan-The Musical, even in 50 years be made? Titanic seems to be fair game for dramatisation, but like with the latter people died in horrendous circumstances. Who decides what's fair game? A sense of what the public would pay to watch?

I would have liked Denise Bulger to have been consulted by the filmaker at least. It's even possible, however remote, she could have had an input, had talks been conducted in a sensitive manner.
By Andy McDandy
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Bit of a tangent but bear with me.

A few years ago a question was raised on a librarians forum I subscribe to, about what to do about a book by Rolf Harris that was stocked by a public library. The local paper had rounded up a few outraged types to complain about public servants stocking sick book (It was an Animal Hospital spin off). What to do?

One reply said that in that case, bin any books by Jeffrey Archer, Lance Armstrong, Stephen Fry and so on. After all, they're all convicted criminals or similarly disgraced. Albeit for perjury, doping and credit card fraud rather than child abuse. Which is in a different cachet.

I get very uneasy about this sort of issue. How long is long enough time to pass? Should subject matter or people involved automatically disqualify a creative work? We've already seen in recent years perfectly good films (I'm thinking of Gone Baby Gone and its parallels with the McCann and Matthews cases) shelved from general release. I just fear for a future of cultural sterility, where only the blandest, safest stuff is allowed, for fear of the likes of Piers Morgan screaming for censorship.
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By Abernathy
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I do agree that it's tricky to get this right one way or the other.

Another egregious example is of course Jimmy Savile. The BBC re-runs old episodes of Top of the Pops all the time, but it's been very careful to ensure that no episode featuring Savile ever makes it to the screen. It's as if he never existed.

I think I agree with that. I never liked Savile even before it was revealed what a monster he was, so I have no desire to see him on the telly box ever again, even less so because of what we know of his appalling crimes.

Horses for courses, perhaps?
By bluebellnutter
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It's interesting this subject of editting history (appreciate this is off-topic) because this Christmas just gone I spotted the Mel & Kim version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" where the part where Mel Smith mentions how he "hasn't had this much fun since Two Little Boys was #1" has been removed, along with a picture of Rolf with a thumbs up in front of it has been edited out in a slightly jarring manner.
By Andy McDandy
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Yes, and as I've said before, it's best when your sex villains are a bit naff in the first place, and excising them from the public memory isn't too hard.

It gets more tricky when someone has done awful things, but is recognizably a considerable talent, or what they did was "fair for its day". Roman Polanski, Kevin Spacey, John Peel, Charlie Chaplin.

Without wanting to attract accusations of being an apologist, I just think we need the maturity to separate the person from the output.

And back to the original issue, I think that while it's important to acknowledge the grief and perspective of bereaved families, to use them, as the media so often does, as a Trojan horse for its own shit stirring or agenda, is reprehensible.
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