UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned October Films for a documentary to mark the 25th anniversary of James Bulger’s murder.
Bulger was abducted and murdered by two ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, in 1993. The documentary will bring together key individuals involved in Bulger’s trial to see if justice was served.
The Bulger Murder: 25 Years On (1 x 60, w/t), directed by Matt Smith, also includes excerpts from the police interview tapes with Venables and Thompson.
Interviewees include Ralph Bulger, Laurence Lee (Jon Venables’ solicitor), Dominic Lloyd (Robert Thompson’s solicitor), Detective Sergeant Phil Roberts (who conducted the interviews with Thompson), Detective Inspector Jim Fitzsimmons, Richard Henriques, QC (barrister for the prosecution), Home Secretary at the time Lord Michael Howard, former Sun Editor Kelvin MacKenzie, journalist Shelagh Fogarty and author Blake Morrison.
Britain is one of the few countries in which a child can be sentenced for a murder, and there is increasing evidence that at that age, they find it difficult to comprehend the consequences of their actions.
Many countries have increased their age of criminal responsibility whereas Britain has remained the same. The doc looks at how the Norwegian authorities took a different approach to a similar crime and why Britain’s reaction was so different.
“The murder of James Bulger fundamentally changed the way we Britons live and continues to provoke raw emotion,” said Matt Robins, creative director at October and EP, in a statement. “We saw this film as an opportunity to ask how 25 years of hindsight have affected the perspectives of those closest to the case. Rather than retreading the details of that dark day in Liverpool, we wanted to consider what the British reaction says about us as a nation and whether we’ve changed over the intervening years.”