Jim Gray, a direct descendant of a murder victim who features in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, addresses the film’s historical accuracy and sensitivity to real-world Indigenous cultures. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon chronicles the true story of the FBI investigation into a series of murders of members of the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma after oil is discovered on their land. The film is an adaptation of a 2017 non-fiction book by author David Grann.


Ahead of Killers of the Flower Moon‘s release date later this fall, Gray, a direct descendant of murder victim Henry Roan, takes to Twitter to share his thoughts on Scorsese’s upcoming crime epic after his own private screening. Gray, a former Principal Chief of the Osage Nation, shares that Scorsese ultimately made modern-day members of the Osage Nation integral to the creation of the film and took their input into consideration in the crafting of the story. Check out Gray’s tweets below:

Killers Of The Flower Moon True Story Explained

Leonardo DiCaprio as Ernest Burkhart kneeling down in front of Lily Gladstone as Mollie Burkhart in Killers of the Flower Moon

Ironically, the reservation in Oklahoma that members of the Osage Nation had been relegated to years earlier ended up sitting atop a massive oil deposit. The discovery of the oil made many Osage Native Americans some of the richest people per capita in the entire world. In the 1920s, however, dozens of grisly murders shocked the community, with much of this oil money subsequently finding its way to descendants of white colonists who had married their way onto the reserve.

These murders were eventually found to be largely orchestrated by a man named William Hale, played in Killers of the Flower Moon by De Niro. DiCaprio plays Ernest, one of Hale’s duplicitous nephews, who marries an Osage woman named Mollie (Gladstone) in an effort to get his hands on some of this oil money. The murders of members of the Osage Nation lead to the involvement of the FBI, then known as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), in what was one of the organization’s first major murder investigations.

The film was previously said to be a more thorough exploration of the early days of the FBI and its involvement in the Osage murders, but, as Gray explains, the script was rewritten to focus more on the Native American side of the story and the impact that these horrible murders had on their community. Early Killers of the Flower Moon reviews have largely praised Scorsese’s somber and epically-drawn take on this dark period of American history, but general audiences will, unfortunately, have to wait until the fall to watch the film for themselves.

Source: Jim Gray/ Twitter

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