“Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone says Martin Scorsese’s film is more complicated than the classic western, where indigenous characters have historically suffered from stereotyping.
Actress Blackfeet/Niimíipuu, who plays Osage female Mollie Burkhart in the period film, told Empire magazine, “A lot of people really want to call this ‘Martin Scorsese Western.’ With Natives and Westerns, we’re so dehumanized that it almost feels like we’re part of the landscape, instead of human beings telling a story.”
He added that the film is instead “a great American tragedy”. Gladstone’s character is married to suspicious cattle rancher Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose uncle William Hale (Robert De Niro) is determined to gain control of the oil under their feet in Oklahoma.
“Having grown up on my reservation in Montana and the American West and Indian country, it was very familiar to see this kind of goofy, over-the-top cowboy character fall in love with a truly self-possessed Native woman,” Gladstone said of the dynamic with The character of Di Caprio. “It’s such a familiar dynamic. And that was backed up by a lot of community stories that we had heard.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” premiered at Cannes in 2023 and co-stars Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow and Brendan Fraser. The film is based on David Grann’s non-fiction book about the string of murders in Osage County, Oklahoma during the 1920s after oil was discovered on the indigenous land of the Osage Nation. The newly formed FBI investigated the cases at the time.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” will premiere in IMAX in a limited release on Friday, October 6, before being released on Friday, October 20. Apple Original Films has not yet set a streaming preview.
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