Devery Jacobs, star of Reservation Dogs, recently voiced her concerns and “strong feelings” about Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon. Sharing her thoughts on X, the rebranded social media platform previously known as Twitter, Jacobs described her experience watching the film as “painful, grueling, unrelenting, and unnecessarily graphic.”
Drawing from her Native heritage, Jacobs expressed the difficulty of witnessing the brutal portrayal of atrocities committed against her ancestors. She depicted her viewing experience as “hellfire,” highlighting the intensity of watching such explicit depictions of violence against Native communities. The film’s scenes, particularly those showcasing the planning and discussion of these violent acts by white men, felt long and agonizing to Jacobs.
While Jacobs acknowledged the impressive performances of the cast, particularly praising Lily Gladstone as “an absolute legend” for her portrayal of Mollie, she felt that the Indigenous characters in the film were underwritten. In contrast, the white characters seemed to be given more depth and nuance.
She further discussed the film’s violent scenes, understanding their purpose as shock value to emphasize the community’s real-life horrors. However, Jacobs raised concerns about the potential normalizing effect of such portrayals on screen. She believes that these scenes might inadvertently contribute to further dehumanizing Native people, particularly women.
Emphasizing the richness of Native culture, Jacobs remarked that Indigenous people are more than just their grief and trauma. Their pride, languages, traditions, joy, and love offer a much more humanizing and compelling narrative than solely focusing on the injustices they faced.
Lastly, Jacobs highlighted the need for diverse perspectives in filmmaking. While appreciating the importance of telling such stories, she expressed a wish that an Osage filmmaker had been given the opportunity and the substantial budget to tell their own story. In her view, non-Native directors often center the narrative on a white perspective, emphasizing Native pain over other facets of their experiences.
You can view the entire thread from X (formerly Twitter) here:
- “The Last of Us” Star Bella Ramsey Among 2023 BAFTA Breakthroughs - November 29, 2023
- Natalie Portman Opens Up About Protecting Child Actors - November 28, 2023
- Remember When Rebecca St. James Lit Up the Dove Awards? - November 27, 2023