Unveiling Historical Layers: Analyzing Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon"

Once again, Martin Scorsese showcases his mastery in "Killers of the Flower Moon," unfolding a captivating narrative that reveals a nearly forgotten page of American history. Primarily associated with gangster films, Scorsese embraces a new challenge in historical dramatic storytelling.

Despite venturing beyond his comfort zone, the director delves deep into his subject, exploring one of his key themes—the evil in people's hearts leading to self-destruction in the pursuit of power. This time, his focus is on the clash between the Osage nation and white settlers seeking to seize oil-rich lands in Oklahoma.

The film's lengthy duration, nearly 3.5 hours, attests to Scorsese's readiness to delve into history, outline its contours, and bring to light details almost forgotten by time. While Oklahoma is far from the dark heart of New York, in this story, we still see two key Scorsese themes: corrupted figures of authority and criminality.

The film follows the Osage people, especially Molly Burkhardt and Hugh Kills, in their encounters with white settlers determined to steal their oil-rich lands by any means. The plot unfolds two beloved Scorsese themes: corrupted figures of authority and criminality.

Led by Robert De Niro, William King Hale initially appears as one of the few decent white men in the county. He befriends members of the Osage tribe, even learning their language. However, we soon realize that this was just a facade covering his ominous interference. Following the traditions of "The Departed" and "Gangs of New York," the false father-figure poses a threat, using his influence and charisma to consolidate power.

Scorsese also brings many of his favorite stylistic elements to the film. Voiceovers provide additional dramatic context, but instead of vibrant tracking shots as in his previous works, they are accompanied by more meditative images, allowing us to fully concentrate on the narrative.

Slow scenes are also characteristic of Scorsese's visual language, often used to highlight the moment when a character discovers a new point of focus. In "Killers of the Flower Moon," slow shooting is employed to immerse us in moments of intense drama, compelling us to take the time to truly comprehend what is happening.

Alongside this, the film includes several Scorsese cameos, emphasizing his desire to participate in his own works. In the final scene, the director personally appears, providing us with a concluding epilogue from the narrator's perspective.

The film's concluding scene is not a recreation of the past but rather a snapshot of modern Osage representatives, dancing a traditional dance, loudly and proudly celebrating their culture, which many tried to take from them.

In conclusion, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is the triumph of one of the greatest filmmakers, bringing to life a historical page that has long remained in the shadows. Responding to the production pause due to the pandemic, the director spent more time engaging with Osage representatives, transforming his film from a simple detective story into a relevant and captivating historical work.

The work not only delves into the investigation of crimes but also raises questions about why and how such stories remain hidden from us and how we can prevent this in the future. The critical and box office success of this film may open doors for indigenous American writers and directors to finance and tell their own stories, embedding their truth in history as many, like Molly and her family, were not allowed to do before.