June 5, 2023

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Martin Scorsese commemorates forgotten mass killings in new movie: ‘This is like justice’

At the Cannes Film Festival, Martin Scorsese got it Moonflower Killers, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, warmly received. The film brings to light a forgotten mass murder of the people of the Osage.

Levine Trio

American Indians They are almost invisible in American visual culture, but when they do get screen time, they usually depict the miserable conditions in which they have to live today. That is why the first minutes of Martin Scorsese’s 27th feature film are Moonflower Killers Absolutely stunning: we see well-dressed members of the Osage people driving around in expensive cars, pockets full of dollars, scavenging from pushy white vendors on the street.

opposite world? It used to be true a century ago, the Osages were for a while the richest people in the world per capita: the piece of land in Oklahoma that the government had set aside for them turned out to be full of oil. It turns out to be a poisoned gift to the Osage, for when fortune spews from the earth, it also attracts those with bad intentions.

People like businessman William Hill (played by Robert De Niro in the movie), a manipulative and materialistic hunk who came up with a ruthless plan to get rid of the Osage and put their money in his pockets. The atrocities committed by Hale and his accomplices were forgotten for nearly a hundred years, until journalist David Gran brought them back to life in his nonfiction. Moonflower Killers.

Martin Scorsese at Cannes last week. The film is about the tragedy of trust and betrayal between the Osage and white Americans.Pictures, pictures, news

The movie Scorsese made based on this deviates from Gran’s journalistic approach: the book has the perpetrators pinned down by the FBI, and the movie points almost immediately in the direction of Hill and his gang. As is often the case, Scorsese tells the story through the eyes of the villains. But more than famous gangster movies like Good guys in it Moonflower Killers Also room to feel grief for their victims.

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Scorsese focuses on Ernest Burckhardt: a lazy bum, played incomparably by a Leonardo DiCaprio stripped of all his vanity. As William Hale’s nephew, he carries out his deadly orders without thinking twice. A surprising (and historically accurate) twist: Like many other white men who claim the Osage fortune, Ernest is also married to an Osage woman. But unlike these other men, he sincerely loves Molly (spiritual role of Lily Gladstone), and she loves him. Their relationship is the heart of the film and a source of suspense: how long will Ernest keep the moral distance between his love for Molly and the murder of her family? Will Molly discover Ernest’s infidelity?

With a runtime of roughly 3.5 hours, Scorsese had the aftermath irish Once again he made a movie of colossal proportions. You feel that time Moonflower Killers Really passes. The movie definitely lacks some form and subtlety around the middle. At the same time, this massive playtime is also necessary to make the scope and perversity of this tragedy palpable. As if Scorsese zooms out so slowly, that you can finally contemplate in horror the scope of Hill’s plan, and the ruthless patience it took to carry it out.

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio as villains in Killers of the Flower Moon.  Image courtesy of Apple

Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio as villains in Killers of the Flower Moon.Image courtesy of Apple

Moonflower Killers It was one of the most anticipated films at Cannes, and those high expectations were met: the press and audience went wild. “The warm welcome here in Cannes is very special,” actress Lily Gladstone, who grew up on a Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, said at the press conference after the premiere. “But it mostly feels like justice.”

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In addition to Gladstone, DiCaprio, De Niro and Scorsese, Jeffrey Standing Beer, President of the Osage People, spoke at the press conference. “When I first met Martin Scorsese, I asked him how he wanted to approach this story. He said to me: I’m going to tell a story about trust. Between Molly and Ernest, but also between the outside world and the Osage. And about the deep betrayal of that trust.”

Perpetual Big Bear says, “My people have suffered greatly and endured the consequences of that betrayal to this day. But I can say on behalf of the Osage that Martin Scorsese and his team have restored faith. We trust he will not be ashamed this time.”

Scorsese and co. Not only did they want to tell the Osage story, they wanted to do the same for them. They attended rituals, banquets, and ceremonies and were widely heard of their stories. “We approached this story almost like anthropologists,” says DiCaprio. Adds Lily Gladstone: “I think what we’ve created goes beyond anthropology. local People are used to anthropologists coming to study us. But non-artists can challenge people to consider their complicity White supremacy? ”

“This film exposes the banality of evil,” says Robert De Niro. “That’s what we have to always be vigilant about. You see that happening today too with… Everyone knows who I’m talking to, but I’m not going to say his name. So it’s a systemic thing, and that’s what makes it so scary.”

Killers of the Flower Moon will hit theaters and Apple TV+ this fall

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