Martin Scorsese is known for creating some of the most successful films within modern cinema and he typically does so with one of his muses, Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert De Niro. Films like Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, and The Irishman are just a few films that still resonate within the film industry today.
While he’s been creating TikToks with his daughter, his latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon has taken the internet by storm. Many have lauded Scorsese’ 3 hour and 26 minute film, but some Indigenous viewers have a very different take on the movie.
Based on David Grann’s book of the same name, Apple TV+’s Killers of the Flower Moon follows the tragic murders of members of the Osage Nation in Osage County, Oklahoma, and the subsequent FBI investigation of them, during the 1920s after oil is discovered on their land. Now that the Killers of the Flower Moon is out for all to see, one Indigenous actress shared her thoughts on the film online.
Canadian actress Devery Jacobs, who’s Mohawk, took to X after watching Scorsese’s film and didn’t mince her words, describing the film as “painful, grueling, unrelenting and unnecessarily graphic.” The Reservation Dogs actress wrote, “Being Native, watching this movie was fucking hellfire. Imagine the worst atrocities committed against yr ancestors, then having to sit thru a movie explicitly filled w/ them, w/ the only respite being 30min long scenes of murderous white guys talking about/planning the killings.”
Jacobs noted that while the Indigenous actors “were the only redeeming factors of this film,” including going as far as saying “Give Lily [Gladstone] her g*dd*mn Oscar,” she stated that the Osage characters were “painfully underwritten” in comparison to the white ones. Additionally, Jacobs stated that while the film highlights the brutal murders of Indigenous folks from the Osage Nation for shock value, she felt that actual Osage nation members weren’t “shown honor or dignity in the horrific portrayal of their deaths.”
“Contrarily, I believe that by showing more murdered Native women on screen, it normalizes the violence committed against us and further dehumanizes our people,” Jacobs wrote.
And as for Scorsese’s involvement in the film, Jacobs would “prefer to see a $200 million movie from an Osage filmmaker telling this history, any day of the week.”
Killers of a Flower Moon continues to be polarizing amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences. In a video posted by The Hollywood Reporter, Osage language consultant Christopher Cote shared why he had mixed feelings about the film due to it not coming from an Osage standpoint, nor being for the Osage community.
Killers of a Flower Moon is calling attention to the atrocities that transpired during that time, whose effects are still felt by Osage Nation members and other Indigenous folks, but at what cost? Jacobs pondered a similar question at the end of her thread.
“All in all, after 100 years of the way Indigenous communities have been portrayed in film, is this really the representation we needed?”
You can check out Jacob’s full thread here.
Killers of a Flower Moon is out now on Apple TV+.
Soon, Angeline will start directing their feature documentary debut, “Waveguides,” about Indigenous women musicians.