‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Was ‘F–king Hellfire’ to Watch for ‘Reservation Dogs’ Star Devery Jacobs

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2023 Toronto International Film Festival - TIFF Tribute Gala - Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images
2023 Toronto International Film Festival - TIFF Tribute Gala - Credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Reservation Dogs actress Devery Jacobs is speaking up about the portrayal of violence against indigenous people in Martin Scorsese’s new film, Killers of the Flower Moon.

In a series of tweets Monday, the actress, who is Kanien’keha:ka, described the movie — which depicts the Osage murders — as “painful, grueling, unrelenting, and unnecessarily graphic” and described watching the film as “fucking hellfire.”

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“Imagine the worst atrocities committed against [your] ancestors, then having to sit thru a movie explicitly filled [with] them, [with] the only respite being 30min long scenes of murderous white guys talking about/planning the killings,” she tweeted.

In her tweets, she critiqued Scorsese’s depiction of the atrocity. Based on the 2017 book of the same name by David Grann, the film centers on the Osage people of Oklahoma after the discovery of oil on their land and the white settlers who targeted them for their wealth. The film stars Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Lily Gladstone — whose acting Jacobs praised for her portrayal of Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman.

“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 wrote.

While she noted Scorsese’s “technical direction” and said she understood how showing violence onscreen can “add brutal shock value,” Jacobs explained that she didn’t think the Osage people were shown “honor or dignity.” (Reps for Scorsese and Jacobs did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.)

“I believe that by showing more murdered Native women on screen, it normalizes the violence committed against us and further dehumanizes our people,” she wrote, before adding, “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.”

Jacobs also acknowledged the Osage people who were involved in making the film and “how cathartic” it must have been to make the film, but added that she would have rather seen “an Osage filmmaker telling this story” instead of someone like Scorsese.

“All in all, after 100 years of the way Indigenous communities have been portrayed in film, is this really the representation we needed?” she ended her thread.

Killers of the Flower Moon premiered on Oct. 20 after being shown at Cannes in May 2023. It debuted at $23 million at the box-office this weekend.

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