Ahead of filming, Scorsese, DiCaprio and Gladstone visited the Osage to gain their consent to portray their story.
“They really worked hard at this and earned our respect,” Chief Standing Bear said at the film’s panel at Cannes Film Festival. “If you’re not comfortable with Martin Scorsese, you’re not going to be comfortable with anybody!”
The director reportedly hired Osage people to work on-set, both in front of and behind the camera.
“You deal with Native Americans and Indigenous people, you gotta make sure everything we do, everything we do, is as authentic,” Scorsese told CBS Sunday Morning.
“We did our absolute best to listen to the Osage community,” added DiCaprio.
The Osage history that inspired Killers of the Flower Moon.
To understand what led to the murders in the 1920s, we need to go back another 50 years.
In the 1860s, the Osage tribe (also known as ‘People of the Middle Waters’) were driven from their homelands in Kansas and negotiated a treaty to own what was presumed a worthless reservation in northern Oklahoma.
But while the rocky and barren lands were unfit for cultivation, they turned out to be extremely valuable in a different way: the land was rich in oil.
This part of Oklahoma became one the wealthiest areas in the world, and in turn, members of the tribe became the richest people per capita in the world.