There I sat on the cinema seat of Sutton Empire to watch the brand new Scorsese, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’, which punched my gut repeatedly and rinsed me of tears. This three-hour-and-twenty-six-minute mammoth of a film had my eyes glued to the screen, deeply angry, and totally engrossed in this heartbreakingly truthful story. 


‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ follows the series of murders of Osage members, a Native American tribe, that took place in the 1920s in Osage County, Oklahoma. They were  committed by white settlers that sought to steal the Osage’s oil rights. This film adapted the book written by David Grann in 2017 to bring this piece of history to the masses and I am grateful to have learnt such an important story to tell. 


The backdrop of the film follows the end of the Wild West and its legacy of the manifest destiny mindset that white settlers held and the racism towards Native Americans that came with this. The white settler families’ vigour for money and the lengths they would go to cheat, exploit, and steal was chilling to witness and the portrayal of their maliciousness was deeply unsettling. However, the film is not just about the horrors; it is also a very necessary celebration of the rich culture of the Osage and their unity, which led to them persevering and fighting for their justice. 


Having the film take place from the point of view of Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo Dicaprio), one of the white perpetrators, allowed the audience to see the constant scheming and treachery committed, yet also the twisted, fetishist relationship the white settlers had with the Osage, depicting them with an unnerving predatory nature - the settlers are, afterall, accurately described as ‘wolves’ in the film. 


Despite its length, I thought every frame had a purpose and the performances were stellar, especially Lily Gladstone who played Mollie Burkhart. It’s a movie full of greed and betrayal while also highlighting such awe-inspiring endurance and resilience from the Osage Nation. I highly recommend it.