Among the stars of “Killers of the Flower Moon” is Lily Gladstone, the Indigenous actor of Blackfeet and Nimíipuu descent who burst onto the indie scene with a phenomenal performance in Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women.” Speaking with Variety, she explained how “Killers of the Flower Moon” changed quite a great deal from the movie Martin Scorsese originally set out to make, and that change is due entirely to how the actual Osage Nation impacted the film when they started shooting:
“The work is better when you let the world inform the work. […] That was very refreshing how involved the production got with the [Osage Nation] community. As the community warmed up to our presence, the more the community got involved with the film. It’s a different movie than the one [Scorsese] walked in to make almost entirely because of what the community had to say about how it was being made and what was being portrayed.”
Obviously, because the movie isn’t out, we won’t know exactly how things evolved over the course of the film’s production, but I am heartened that an 80 year-old like Scorsese would be so receptive to changing his film if the material was inauthentic or potentially offensive to the Osage Nation. A lot of people of his age and stature would simply charge ahead, especially when they are wrangling a massive $200 million budget. Of course, we have heard stories about Indigenous advisors in films before that ended up still upsetting those communities, but I will remain optimistic that a filmmaker as emotionally open as Scorsese can deliver.