Q

American Honey puts a human face to America's underclass

Andrea Arnold explores the life of impoverished youth in America in her new film, American Honey.
Andrea Arnold explores the life of impoverished youth in America in her new film, American Honey. (Elevation Pictures)

American Honey is a road trip movie inspired by a road trip and which was also filmed via road trip. 

It follows a group of ragtag adolescents on a "Mag Crew" (touring door-to-door magazine subscription sellers), played by Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Sasha Lane, as they move through the underbelly of America's underclass.

After reading about the mag crew phenomenon, director Andrea Arnold felt compelled to tell their story. "The thing that most attracted me was that there were all these kids from very difficult backgrounds who got together on a bus and formed  a surrogate family," she says.

Andrea Arnold explores the life of impoverished youth in America in her new film, American Honey. (Holly Horner/Elevation Pictures)

So she followed suit. She packed her cast and crew in vans and drove them across the country to Cannes Jury Prize-winning film, giving the coming-of-age movie a documentary feel.

"We started in Oklahoma and we shot chronologically. We all stayed in the same motels, we drove together in convoy."

Which of course included some road trip shenanigans both on and off screen. 

With the film screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, Arnold joins guest host Candy Palmater to talk about the British-native's American tale. 

WEB EXTRA | Screening now at the Toronto International Film Festival, watch the trailer for American Honey below:

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now