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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, a morality tale of greed and political power

Martin Scorsese’s 27th feature film — an urgent, devastatingly bleak crime drama about colonialism and murder — arrives right in time to rattle the collective Australian psyche in the aftermath of the Voice referendum.

Killers of the Flower Moon is the story of the systematic fraud and killings of members of the Osage Nation, an Indigenous community in Oklahoma whose oil wealth made them one of the world’s richest per capita populations in the early 20th century.

But, as the film’s shocking string of crimes proves, there isn’t a resources boom big enough to safeguard you from genocidal violence.

A film still showing four Native American women sitting on the ground, wearing traditional shawls and some holding fans

Inspired by real events and based on journalist David Grann’s non-fiction book of the same name, Killers sees Scorsese once again burrowing into the underbelly of American history with a morality tale of greed and political power.

It is also, perhaps more than usual for Scorsese, an attempt to commemorate the dignity and resilience of the story’s innocent victims.

Having consulted extensively with the Osage Nation, the film is spoken in both the English and Osage language, and there are many local First Nations performers on screen.