Martin Scorsese received perhaps the most laudatory approval for his latest film The Killers of the Flower Moon at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Apple TV+ feature, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone, explores a series of murders of members of the oil-rich native Osage Nation in the 1920s, unraveling the betrayal the community faced at the hands of white outsiders and the FBI investigation that finally brought the killers to light.
At the press conference for the film festival on Sunday, Chief Standing Bear – leader of the Osage Nation – said his people are “suffering” to this day.
“But I can say on behalf of the Osage Nation that Scorsese and his team have restored confidence,” he said.
The previous evening, the Apple TV+ film bowed to an enthusiastic reception at the Palais, the audience rising to a 9-minute standing ovation, one of the festival’s longest to date.
Scorsese talked about how deeply his encounters with Osage tribal leaders influenced his creative process.
“I knew it when I heard about their values about love, respect and love for the earth – and I’m not talking about making this a political issue; I’m talking about how you really have to live on this planet — it reoriented me every time I heard it,” Scorsese said.
“I wanted to know everything about the Osage,” he explained. “It’s overwhelming… The more I discovered, the more I wanted to put in.”
Standing Bear added that young Osage worked behind the cameras in several departments on the film, and also expressed admiration for the work ethic of the top cast.
The ghost of Donald Trump also made an unlikely appearance at the press conference. The former president and potential 2024 presidential candidate was mentioned by Robert De Niro, who drew parallels between the political figure and the character he plays. killers, a man who poses as an ally of the oil-rich Osage Nation in the 1920s to betray them and oversee a series of brutal murders in his quest for wealth. “We’ll see it today and you know who I’m talking about, but I’m not going to mention his name,” De Niro said. “That guy is stupid.”
“It’s there and we need to keep a close eye on it,” De Niro added, referring to the evil lurking in everyday white supremacy.
He continued: “There are those who think Trump can do well. Imagine how insane that is.”
Pondering happier thoughts, De Niro noted that the last time he was at the festival with Scorsese was Cab driver in 1976. Cab driverwould of course win the Palme.