Patti Smith Honors Killers of the Flower Moon’s Lily Gladstone at National Board of Review Gala

At its paramount, the merging of art and activism provides the people with revolutionizing truth, exposing what must be exposed and raising up what must be raised. Martin Scorsese’s film Killers of the Flower Moon presents an abysmal shard of American history, confronting our conscience with the collective experience of Indigenous People globally. It pierces the vein of human weakness, greed, cowardice and betrayal. And what is more piercing than the face of Lily Gladstone, as the camera captures the shifting tones of her interior process, seamlessly embodying the courageous Mollie Burkhart. Whether off or on screen, like the new moon, she could be felt if not seen.

Filmmaking is vastly dependent on intense collaboration and all who have taken part in bringing this film to light should be commended. But sometimes an artist must stand alone and draw solely from herself. As Mollie, Lily’s sense of the space around and the rushing energy of her own blood can be felt in every gesture, every side glance, in the lift of her head, in the folding of her hands, in the burgeoning illness, mirroring the afflictions imposed on her people, coupled with her stamina to love, heal and quietly condemn.

Heritage, humor, intelligence, earthy sensuality. She drew from the many aspects of herself, infusing them within her spiritual sister, the Osage woman Mollie Burkhart, with dignity and grace.

It is with great honor that I am here to present the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress to the awesome Lily Gladstone.

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