By MARISA TABARES
Martin Scorsese brought the heartbreaking historical scandal that took place in Oklahoma in the 1920s to screens across the country
in his new film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” to shine light on the horrid events that took place.
The film, although unsettling at times, emphasizes the degrading ways Indigenous Peoples were treated while living in white American society. They were considered incompetent, and needed white guardians to access their funds. This movie enlightens those who have not heard of the ghastly events that took place against the Osage people. It creates feelings of empathy and compassion in the viewer.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Native American actress, Lily Gladstone, shared the spotlight as the main characters. DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a young man who returned from the military to live with his wealthy uncle William Hale, played by De Niro. Hale is a highly respected man in Fairfax, Oklahoma; he’s considered to be a good friend of the Osage people, on whose land he resides.
The Osage Natives came into wealth as oil was discovered on their land. Burkhart works as a taxi driver for his uncle, where he meets Mollie Kile, played by Gladstone. Tensions rise as suspicious deaths among the Osage recurs. Characters are called into question and secrets are revealed.
De Niro brought the character of Hale back to life, as he played the town hero when residents were down on their luck or needed resources they couldn’t access. DiCaprio portrays a loving husband, father and member of the community, as he cares for his sickly wife. Gladstone presents as Mollie Kile Burkhart, bringing the Osage culture to life with beautiful Native garb such as the traditional blanket worn to honor their culture.
The Native culture is well represented. Different types of ceremonies are depicted throughout the film. The Native dress and customs are exhibited throughout the 3 1/2-hour flick. It is not suggested for children under 18 years of age, as it bears a restricted rating. This film is educational as it shares with its audience the true story of a crime against the Osage. It is an eye opener to the history and stories that remain untold, including the gory details and frustrating truths that are revealed in picture.