Reservation Dogs star Devery Jacobs has a pretty scathing review for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. And the movie’s long runtime isn’t the issue.
“Being Native, watching this movie was fucking hellfire,” Jacobs said on her X and Instagram social media accounts as she slammed Scorsese and his revisionist Western true-crime epic for depicting the Osage people as tragic victims.
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“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 argued in a long social media thread.
Scorsese and his creative team worked closely with many members of the Osage Nation tribe on the production of Killers of the Flower Moon, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone and follows the real-life 1920s murders of Osage members after oil was found on their Oklahoma land.
But Jacobs says that collaboration only produced a stereotypical representation of the Osage murders created by a white director. “I don’t feel that these very real people were 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,” she stated.
Killers of the Flower Moon, co-written by Scorsese and Eric Roth, is based on a 2017 book by David Grann and explores the FBI’s investigation into the Osage murders. DiCaprio and Gladstone star as a married couple in the real-life story, after the promise of oil wealth brings DiCaprio’s character to the Osage land.
Jacobs insisted the Osage Nation and other Indigenous peoples deserve a far more nuanced and multi-dimensional portrayal by Hollywood than the worst horrors of their past.
“I can’t believe it needs to be said, but Indig ppl exist beyond our grief, trauma & atrocities. Our pride for being Native, our languages, cultures, joy & love are way more interesting & humanizing than showing the horrors white men inflicted on us,” she argued.
The Reservation Dogs star does give a shoutout to Gladstone, who plays Mollie Burkhart, an Indigenous woman at the center of a nefarious plot, and fellow Indigenous performers in the Apple TV+ movie. “Give Lily her goddam Oscar,” Jacobs said, as Gladstone during the current awards season is in the running to possibly become the first Native American nominee.
Scorsese’s Western adult drama posted $23.3 million in box office during its debut weekend.
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