Canadian star Devery Jacobs is sharing her unfiltered thoughts about the new Martin Scorsese flick Killers Of The Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio, taking to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), posting that the film and Scorsese are “painting Native folks as helpless victims without agency.”
Her thread on X, which has over 807,000 views, begins with her stating the movie was “painful, grueling, unrelenting and unnecessarily graphic.”
“Being Native, watching this movie was f***ing hellfire,” she posted, referring to the graphic deaths of First Nations characters, specifically the women characters in the new movie.
“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,” she argued.
While she praised actress Lily Gladstone who plays Mollie in the movie, adding that the academy should “Give Lily her goddamn Oscar,” Jacobs posted the irony that all of the First Nations characters, which are Osage in the film, are woefully underdeveloped.
“But while all of the performances were strong, if you look proportionally, each of the Osage characters felt painfully underwritten, while the white men were given way more courtesy and depth,” she continued.
“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 then brings her point home by saying, “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.”
Taking aim at Scorsese, who is famously Italian-American, she adds, “This is the issue when non-Native directors are given the liberty to tell our stories; they center the white perspective and focus on Native people’s pain.”
The Hollywood Reporter reports that “Killers of the Flower Moon” was co-written by Scorsese and Eric Roth, based on a 2017 book by David Grann. The story follows DiCaprio and Gladstone as a married couple, based on the true story, who have moved to Osage land for the oil. The film then delves into the FBI’s investigation into the Osage murders.
Jacobs isn’t moved by the fact that Scorsese spent $200 million to make this film and beautiful and moving as possible.
“For the Osage communities involved in creating this film; I can imagine how cathartic it is to have these stories and histories finally acknowledged, especially on such a prestigious platform like this film. There was beautiful work done by so many Wazhazhe on this film. But admittedly, I would prefer to see a $200 million movie from an Osage filmmaker telling this history, any day of the week—and I’m sorry, but Scorsese choosing to end on a shot of Ilonshka dances and drumming? It doesn’t absolve the film from painting Native folks as helpless victims without agency.”
Elsewhere on her X profile, Jacobs shares a red carpet interview with Christopher Cote, the Osage language consultant on the film, who states plainly that he has complicated feelings about the movie. “This film was not made for an Osage audience, it was made for everybody not Osage.”
Jacobs posts that Cote’s review of the film is the only one that matters. The Hollywood Reporter states that “Killers of the Flower Moon” made over $23.3 million at the box office its opening weekend.
At press time, neither Scorsese nor DiCaprio has responded to Jacobs’ criticism.