(New York) The film Killers of the Flower Moon, premiered Wednesday evening in New York, and which tells of the murders of Native Americans 100 years ago in the United States, is a “millennial” and universal story. clash of cultures,” world cinema legend Martin Scorsese told AFP.
During an evening on the red carpet at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan, the American writer David Grann, whose eponymous book was adapted by Scorsese, also told AFP that Killers of the Flower Moon denounced “crimes genocide” of Native Americans by white Americans in the early 20th century.
Screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the $200 million, 3:26-hour fresco starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio will be released in North American theaters on October 20, before being available on the Apple TV platform.
Killers of the Flower Moon tells the true story of the murders and disappearances, in the early 1920s, of members of the Osage tribe made extremely wealthy by oil on their lands in Oklahoma, in the central United States.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a man in love with a Native American woman (actress Lily Gladstone), who finds himself drawn into a plot hatched by cattle magnate William Hale, played by oil-hungry De Niro. An FBI agent, played by Jesse Plemons, is responsible for solving the murders.
“It’s a clash of cultures, a mutual incomprehension, the feeling that everything is due,” Martin Scorsese commented to AFP.
But the 80-year-old New York megastar of Italian origin, who defines himself as “Euro-American,” believes that “the Americans there (in Oklahoma) were first and foremost Europeans.”
Staged violence and crimes “can take place today and anywhere in the world. It’s a story that reverberates across the millennia,” analyzes Scorsese, who filmed on the prairies of Oklahoma, with around forty Osage Native Americans in the cast.
David Grann, journalist and writer for the cultural magazine The New Yorker, goes further; for him, his 2017 book Killers of the Flower Moon and Scorsese’s film tell “the story of one of the most monstrous crimes and racial injustices perpetrated by white settlers against Native Americans for oil money.”
When “the lure of profit mixes with the dehumanization of another people, it leads to these genocidal crimes,” criticizes the intellectual.
Grann also believes that the dramatic history and plight of the Osage tribe, and many Native Americans in the United States, have been “largely erased from (the) collective American consciousness.”
“It wasn’t taught in any of my schoolbooks, I never learned it,” laments Mr. Grann.
Alongside him on the red carpet, the principal chief of the Osage Nation, Geoffrey Standing Bear, also denounces the fact that “the Osage people but also the ‘native’ peoples have had a very hard life for 500 years.”
“And this film shows us that this continues,” breathes the Native American leader.
The United States officially has 6.8 million “native” or “indigenous” Americans – 2% of the population – and the multicultural country is scheduled to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on October 10, a holiday declared in 2021 by the Democratic President Joe Biden.