My Review of “Killers of the Flower Moon”
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
This review was written by VNN Founder Brittany Harlow
I don’t review many movies, if any at all.
This review is from the perspective of an Irish American journalist who lives on the Muscogee Creek Nation Reservation. One who is married to a Muscogee Creek and Cherokee man, has a Muscogee Creek and Cherokee biological child, a Muscogee Creek foster child, and who has researched and reported on Muscogee Creek Allotment Era crimes since August 2022.
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One who grew up in Massachusetts and who moved to Oklahoma in 2009.
My husband and I saw Killers of the Flower Moon yesterday. It provides multiple perspectives of the allotment and mineral rights-related crimes committed against the Osage people, but the dominant perspective is definitely that of the criminals. The film weaves instance after instance of unchecked greedy human nature determined to destroy and pillage the Osage community, irrationally justified time and again for various reasons.
The graphic murder scenes shook me, time after time. Upon reflection, I realize now it is because these killings were real. Real people were murdered, just this callously, just this nonchalantly. This film accurately captures the jarring inhumanity that dwells within the human race.
Lily Gladstone did such an amazing job, a true champion of the film and one you rooted for the whole time, even when she wasn’t on screen. I connected deeply with these characters, though it is hard to say if I would have as much through an unconnected lens. It is though I was watching my own friends on the big screen, which was amplified by the fact that some of my friends actually were there on the big screen.
When I saw the children on screen, as they were shunned for their lineage, as their levels of “Indian” and “white” were debated, I couldn’t help but feel the same protective mothering instincts I have for my own children.
This film was both deeply moving and seriously disturbing. These crimes I have been so immersed in for the last 14 months came to life on screen in a way I had not expected. I can’t say they became real for me, because this has been a very real and very established crime set for me for a while now. But watching KOTFM, I couldn’t help but see these crimes becoming real for many others, non-Osage who took part in the film, everyone watching across the world. Those who are not familiar with the crimes that were committed against the Osage and other tribes in Oklahoma during the Allotment Era. Those who are not familiar with how these crimes still impact many families today.
I classify this film as a “must-see” for anyone who cares about the human experience, and certainly the human experience relating to American history. It was a truly couldn’t-look-away film, and you shouldn’t.