Native American actress Devery Jacobs criticizes Osage portrayal in Killers of the Flower Moon

Native American actress Devery Jacobs criticizes Osage portrayal in Killers of the Flower Moon

The star of the Reservation Dogs series explains on X why she considers this film “painful”.

The actress Devery Jacobsone of the main roles in the series Reservation Dogscreated by Taika Waititi And Sterlin Harjodeveloped on his X account (formerly Twitter) his point of view on the new film by Scorsese, Killing of the Flower Moon.

Being a native, watching this movie was fucking hell. Imagine the worst atrocities committed against your ancestors, then having to sit through this movie, fueled entirely by that, and whose only respite is a 30-minute scene of white assassins planning the murders”, she describes at the beginning of her thread. Despite the virulence of this first post, she does not give in to gratuitous criticism and develops her point of view.

She particularly salutes the performance of Lily Gladstone and of all the native-American actors present in the film: “We must recognize that Lily Gladstone is an absolute legend and she carries Mollie with great grace. All the amazing indigenous actors were the only commendable factor of this movie. Give Lily her Oscar.” Then she resumes her analysis by explaining that “when looked at proportionally, each Osage character is painfully underdeveloped, while the white men have been given more civility and depth”.

It therefore raises an interesting point in the debate, which is that of the representation of a minority, its history (especially if it is written through violence) and who represents it. A few weeks earlier, Lily Gladstonethe star of the film, clarified that it was in no way a “white savior” film, nor a western and that she expressed her reservations about the series Yellowstone with Kevin Costner.

Devery Jacobs raises this famous question of representation and legitimacy: “Now I can understand that the technical direction of Martin Scorsese is convincing and that 200 million dollars on screen makes for a spectacle. I understand that the purpose of this violence is to add a shock effect that forces people to understand the true horrors that happened to this community, BUT… (…) On the contrary, I believe that by showing people If more Indigenous women are murdered, it normalizes the violence committed against us and further dehumanizes our people.”, she nuances.

The actress touches on the crux of the debate: representing the horror experienced by the Osages is a way of making it public and reestablishing the truth, but this continues to convey a portrait of Native Americans as victims and risks reducing them to this image.

She summarizes all this duality in another post of her thread : “I can’t believe this is necessary to say, but Indigenous individuals exist beyond our grief, our trauma and the atrocities we have experienced. Our native pride, our languages, our cultures, our joy and our love are far more interesting and humanizing than showing the horrors that white men have inflicted on us.

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