The highly anticipated upcoming film from director Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon, looks to be shining some light on the tragic events of the treatment of the Osage tribe in northeast Oklahoma, along the Kansas line in Pawhuska.
The 27th feature film from the veteran director teams up acting icons Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro to tell the tragic story of Mollie Burkart, one of Oklahoma’s wealthiest individuals. The plot of Killers of the Flower Moon follows Mollie’s life after her relatives, and fellow members of the Osage tribe are murdered under mysterious circumstances, forcing the involvement of the F.B.I and J. Edgar Hoover.
Spiking the true story is the fact that the Osage land was rich in oil in 1897, making the tribe so wealthy it almost caused their own demise, as throughout the early 20th century, they were often violently attacked by outsiders looking to claim the black gold.
Speaking to Kansas City Magazine, Geoffrey Standing Bear, Chief of the Osage Nations, reported that corruption was rife and most murders were covered up. “My great-grandfather Fred Lookout was Chief during that time,” the Chief stated, “He hired outlaws—men who wouldn’t hesitate to kill—to protect our family”.
Inheriting his great-grandfathers resolve to protect the Osage tribe, Geoffrey Standing Bear comments, “The world does have evil places and evil people. The biggest crime is complicity. Almost everyone went along with the murders”. The chief also states that he has sent every member of the Oklahoma legislature a copy of David Grann’s non-fiction book, Killers of the Flower Moon, noting: “I tell anyone who wants to do business with us that the book is required reading”.
Cautious of the depiction of his people when he was approached by Martin Scorsese several years ago, Geoffrey Standing Bear hopes the film will encourage those “driven to the edges of the world” to return to Oklahoma. He comments, “Kansas City used to be part of our territory. Now half of our twenty-three thousand people live outside Oklahoma, but we’re trying to bring everyone back home”.
Starring Brendan Fraser, Jesse Plemons, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon is currently without a release date. Take a look at the very first glimpse of the film below.