Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which was screened at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival over the weekend, comes from a man who has been making cinema for 60 years. And he has made many great American movies, and his latest out-of-competition work has been inspired by the terrifying crimes committed against the Native American Osage tribe. Set in the 1920s, Killers of the Flower Moon has the edge of a Chinatown.
Killers of the Flower Moon has been adapted from David Grann’s book, and talks about the mass murder that led to a major FBI probe.
At a press meet that followed the screening, Scorsese defended the freedom of speech and spelt out his support for Ukraine against Russian attack. “Very nervous about the aggression of Russia; very nervous about that whole area,” he said. “The younger generations don’t remember World War II. They don’t remember the Balkan nations and what happened there, and what happened with Poland in the 19th century, and the Russians again.
“My feeling is, coming from a country that has a republic, which involves free speech – you can have an adversary without killing them, You don’t want to live like that.”
The filmmaker also defended the principle of freedom of expression. “Freedom to speak is the most important really,” said Scorsese. “It doesn’t mean yelling fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. But freedom to be able to express yourself in a way that’s benign, in peaceful times.”
Scorsese was joined by Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage people, whose story forms the main plot of the film. He said: “My people suffered greatly, and to this very day those effects are with us. Martin Scorsese and his team have restored trust, and we know that trust will not be betrayed.”
Scorsese will be 81 later this year. And he returns to Cannes 47 years after his Taxi Driver won the Palme d’Or,
The Taxi Driver star, Robert De Niro, who was also present at the press conference made a fresh attack on former US President Donald Trump. “I’m not going to say his name, but that guy is stupid,” said De Niro. It’s something that is systemic, and that’s the scary part of it.”
“We see what that is,” continued De Niro, “and there are people who think that he could do a good job. Imagine that, how insane that is! That’s all I’ll say.”
Killers of the Flower Moon will be released by Paramount on October 6 in the US, and will open worldwide on October 20. It will also play on Apple TV+.