American Honey (2016) Explained

  • Published: 20 August 2017
  • In this installment of Films Explained, I explore the elusive narrative and symbolism in Andrea Arnold's American Honey (2016).


    Ian Urbina's 2007 article "For youths, a grim tour on magazine crews"

    CBC News' article "Economic Ladder no harder to climb today, US report finds"

    National Consumers Leagues' 2009 article "Travelling sales crews: The perils of life on the road"

    Darlena Cunha's 2015 article "Trapped into selling magazines door-to-door"

    Jack Smith IV's 2016 article "''American Honey'" is about love vs. capitalism, and how class trauma destroys self-worth"

    Jessie Gumbarge's 2016 article "What does the ending of American Honey really mean?"
  • Movies Movies

Comments • 286

  • Daniel Santana
    Daniel Santana  2 years back

    So 4 months until the next video?

    • Daniel Santana
      Daniel Santana  2 years back

      Film Herald yessssss I love you❤️

    • Film Herald
      Film Herald   2 years back

      Nope! I have some free time coming up over the next few weeks so I should have another up within a month at the very least. At 50,000 subscribers I'll also have an update video coming out. Stay tuned!

  • War Thuder
    War Thuder  4 days back

    1. poor people don't own cars, poor in america means living pay check to pay check aka getting by. These people would be considered rich by global standards. Considering that Russians make 2k less than the national poverty stander of 12k , while in the rest of the world poor means destitute starving children.

    2. the reason that the top 1 percent own so much is they own businesses which means all that money they earn is flowing back into the economy, and the reason for the higher rate is the success of the stock market which has helped lift millions of people out of poverty(global standard) and facilitated massive amounts of trade and wealth creation.

    3. the rich get richer at a disproportionate rate yes, but all classes overall are getting more wealthy even the "poor"

    4 buying power is going up because of these evil companies creating innovation . remember when flat screen TVs were thousands of dollar you can now buy a brand new 32 inch flat screen for 80 dollars from Walmart

    5. the reason most of these people aren't working at a McDonald's(which pays much better than papers) is likely because they hadn't considered, are addicted to something, grew up in a broken household, have metal issues, is dependent on government handouts or all of the above.

    • Dawnandlo
      Dawnandlo  3 weeks back

      Any one of them could go join a union hall of their choice become an apprentice, learn a trade, and make a living wage.

      • Colleen Sarmento
        Colleen Sarmento  3 weeks back

        Great video👌 the jazz in the background is amazing

        • mek80010
          mek80010  3 weeks back

          This movie was ass.

          • Morgan Brown
            Morgan Brown  3 weeks back

            I’m in love with this movie

            • Jared Moser
              Jared Moser  4 weeks back

              Great movie

              • Chloe Mills
                Chloe Mills  4 weeks back

                Yes so I love your interpretation thank you

                • MilkyIceCream
                  MilkyIceCream  4 weeks back

                  God I love the coloration/colors/coloring of the movie. Some shots are really vibrant and saturated imo,, so aesthetic

                  • Michael Shelton
                    Michael Shelton  1 months back

                    You sound like a typical rich or middle class kid that's trying to sound sympathetic to the American lower class. Bro I grew up just as poor as the characters on this movie. If I woukd have applied myself I could have easily gotten loans and got a degree and been more economically successful. I know several people that grew up in trailors like myself that have quarter to a half a million dollar homes. I get so sick of middle class silver spoon people trying to sound sympathetic to lower class people. American lower class has more opportunities than any other country in the world.

                    • Captain Funnypants
                      Captain Funnypants  1 months back

                      I feel like movies are the same as music in some ways. You dont have to be the best musician, or in this case actors. You dont have to have the best production or spend the most money making something. etc. but you just have to mean it. People can tell when you mean it. Great film

                      • Essie S
                        Essie S  1 months back

                        I’m surprised u didn’t mention the theme of rape. It seemed she was raped at home and then was in like 5 different scenarios that could have ended that way. It gave me the worst anxiety every time. She was way too innocent and naive. I feel like the filmmaker was trying to say a lot about sexual violence thru those scenes. Just not sure what..

                        • Vanessa Lori Nascimento Silva


                          • Comicbookstoreguy177
                            Comicbookstoreguy177  1 months back

                            I thought star’s dream was telling. She wanted her own trailer with a lot of kids. She was aspiring to be trailer trash!

                            • Nard Dog
                              Nard Dog  1 months back

                              This movie absolutely sucked shit

                              • Knowledgeable Bro
                                Knowledgeable Bro  1 months back

                                Wage gape is mostly due to different hours work (men do more overwork, women take more breaks)

                                • samantha playz xox
                                  samantha playz xox  1 months back

                                  i’m confused was jake playing on the girl he had ahem with
                                  i’m wondering if he plays on the new girl or something.

                                  • LaLa Don'tTrip
                                    LaLa Don'tTrip  1 months back

                                    Obsessed with Shia in this movie & his romance with her I couldn't get enough their relationship is confusing but it's there it's like he feels her but back's up then let's her know how much he's into her & hurt but then she's like confused by his actions but she knows it's there they both do ....I love it 😍😍

                                    • Avilez Bea
                                      Avilez Bea  1 months back

                                      Loved this movie 💕

                                      • Xia Martin
                                        Xia Martin  1 months back

                                        This movie was nostalgic for me. I have no regrets.

                                        • Joe Gondek
                                          Joe Gondek  1 months back

                                          Shut up you GENDER COMMUNIST!

                                          • Sodacanman33
                                            Sodacanman33  1 months back

                                            Nah, she's a hoe

                                            • CaRnAgE_4_Justin
                                              CaRnAgE_4_Justin  1 months back

                                              Loved the movie... hated the ending

                                              • Yuuf Eternal
                                                Yuuf Eternal  1 months back

                                                The turtle was a peace offering. He obviously cares about her, the way he acted. The baptism scene is left to be open ended, so we the viewer make up our own ending. I think most of the movie is just artistic for the sake of it, without anything to preach or interpret. It feels very human, and you cannot make up these personalities...albeit Shia, he actually sold his character the worse, even though he did a good job.

                                                I do appteciate how you broje it down though. Very interesting.

                                                • meeshell
                                                  meeshell  1 months back

                                                  I wondered why these characters looked so realistic!

                                                  • adam burdt
                                                    adam burdt  2 months back

                                                    Were supposed to get all this? Am I an idiot for not seeing this symbolism the first time through

                                                    • Bracketville August
                                                      Bracketville August  2 months back

                                                      I interpreted the last seen with the turtle as a gift offering. That they jake and star will continue their relationship. The scene where he accuses her of having sex with the oil guy which she didn't for her part of not knowing exactly what part sexual she was in the situation by taking her panties off, she did not have sex with the guy, he the guy felt her and jerked off. she couldn't explain that part, but she most certainly gave the reason why she was with the oil guy. It was for her and jake.. I think jake taking the time off he thought about it and understood the bottom line he is in love with her.

                                                      • Bracketville August
                                                        Bracketville August  2 months back

                                                        Hey this is a great movie. How it flop I have no idea. however, the dvds sale are on the rise. 2019 I have watched this movie at least three times. The actor and actress were great. The chemistry between the two of them is so real. 6/3/2019 I love the lat song American Honey!.

                                                        • Julia Daniell
                                                          Julia Daniell  2 months back

                                                          Clickbait on steroids

                                                          • ZACH Bonneville
                                                            ZACH Bonneville  2 months back

                                                            typical Shia lebouf movie ..thst tells you enough... it -SUCKS
                                                            The main character is poor girl who joins a gang of white teens who love rap and act like retards.. she sells magazines with Shia but can't sell them like any good girl she turns into a whore and gets naked so an oil rig worker can jerk to reality she'd be murdered or atleast be taking a big d in the are for 1000 bux ..prob by several dudes..and "inequality" or wage gap bs?? gtfo shit bags... this film SUCKS SO BAD you have to think about why it sux so long you start thinking about the fly that lands on her arm having some great poetic meaning....whoever made this movie...please die before you make more of this trash

                                                            • Ted Phillips
                                                              Ted Phillips  2 months back

                                                              This was possibly the worst movie I've ever seen.

                                                              • Mark Snitily
                                                                Mark Snitily  2 months back

                                                                This movie should of been titled Post Malone the early years.

                                                                • Travis F
                                                                  Travis F  4 weeks back

                                                                  Damn that was retarded

                                                              • pixie morgen
                                                                pixie morgen  2 months back

                                                                Anyone else think that star and Jake made amends/ got back together?

                                                                • matt rc
                                                                  matt rc  2 months back

                                                                  American Honey is liquor.

                                                                  • Conservos
                                                                    Conservos  2 months back

                                                                    A lot of people think the main character was abandoned by the Mag crew at the end. Watch the last scene again carefully.

                                                                    • Travis F
                                                                      Travis F  4 weeks back

                                                                      My dude, they were all partying together. It’s not like they secretly/quickly packed up and sobered up and dipped out. The pause in music was for effect of the scene. And then the music continues.

                                                                  • Cola IsCola
                                                                    Cola IsCola  2 months back

                                                                    Watched this movie last night and it really got me thinking about how to set things and people free in my life. I’m kind of a free spirit like Star, and some times that comes with a cost, believe it or not.

                                                                    • tired &hungry
                                                                      tired &hungry  2 months back

                                                                      A24 just produces phenomenal movies

                                                                      • Linda Williams
                                                                        Linda Williams  2 months back

                                                                        I have been obsessed by this movie and trying to understand what it all means. Would absolutely love a sequel. Just loved it. The feelings were electric!!

                                                                        • Spencer S
                                                                          Spencer S  2 months back

                                                                          The last song pulls me to believe that Star is some sort of "savior" or "messiah", abused, mistreated and broken before becoming a "hero" by going on a journey full of learning, experience and the act of saving people and things. The way she treats the kids in that house, the way she helps and leaves be every animal she encounters, and the scene where phrases like "the devil has a hold of___" are passed around further my understanding, but I might just be overlooking it.

                                                                          • Coconut ScienceGirl92
                                                                            Coconut ScienceGirl92  2 months back

                                                                            Crazy home girl was just found on a beach. Sad this film made no money. Because oh was it better than American honey 😊💔 heart breaking. Thrilling. Scary.

                                                                            • Betty Diemert
                                                                              Betty Diemert  2 months back

                                                                              At the end of the movie, when Jake gives Star the turtle; he's saying that no matter where turtles roam, they take their home with them. I know it's kind of cheesey, but home is where the heart is.

                                                                              • Brittany B
                                                                                Brittany B  2 months back

                                                                                Just watched this movie omg.. I am absolutely in love with it. I Related to star on so many different levels. This movie is brilliant not just because of all the symbolism or they way they filmed it or all the underlying messages but because it's open for interpretation. Like for me the the very end with the turtle, it symbolizes a home. I feel like Jake was giving her the turtle Not only because he knew that she was going to give away her present again like she does in the past but because he always came looking for her and always protected, Jake found his home within star. He told her certain things about his childhood and showed her certain things. I think Crystal knew star and Jake had a bigger connection than just the normal fling.I think she was a little threatened by star because star didn't pretend to be somebody she wasn't, she was herself 100 percent and trying to find herself all at the same time. I think the reason she said that she wasn't special is because she really was threatened by star and not in the sense that she could hurt Crystal physically but she could take away the money and all the personal favors that she got from Jake. So when she took the turtle and followed it into the water, she baptized herself and came out re-emerged confident feeling more alive and more special and she ever has in her entire life.I think that's the reason we didn't hear the music or noises coming for the bonfire. Yes, I wish that they would have told us a little bit about what happened between Jake and Star and the mag crew but I kind of like that they didn't because then I get to decide they stayed together or if crystal left star on the side of the road and if Jake came back for her. Cuz my whole point is this movie is open for interpretation ❤️

                                                                                • lucy terrazas
                                                                                  lucy terrazas  2 months back

                                                                                  The ending was a bit confusing, but after some research on what a turtle symbolizes the ending made more sense. Star found herself lost for a very long time, she made decisions that were never well thought out, she was free to roam the world but at the same time trapped in her trauma. Jake was the only person that made her feel loved. But they both knew it was toxic. When she was thrown into the pool as she got out she became upset for a few seconds. She was terrified because she couldn’t swim. You see her grow in this movie, you see her learn better ways to sell, she takes more risks with confidence. She becomes more confident each time she faces turmoil. When the new girl drema comes in you can see star looks at her as if she was seeing herself. She knew that she was sold a dream just like her because everything was better than the shitty life they had back home. When jake gives star the turtle he did it to make it up to her for leaving, but in the end she didn’t care anymore. She knew if she wanted to get ahead in life and reach that dream she was going to have to stand her ground above all the chaos that surrounded her. That’s why she went into the water by herself knowing she couldn’t swim and jake didn’t follow her to meet in private like he normally would. It was the beginning of the end.

                                                                                  • Gabbi Young
                                                                                    Gabbi Young  1 months back

                                                                                    lucy terrazas this comment needs more likes!!! A totally new perspective of the end of the movie for me.

                                                                                • Bazooka Joe35
                                                                                  Bazooka Joe35  2 months back

                                                                                  the reality of this movie is truly terrifying people think just because you live in America you must have it so good but that's not always particularly the case in most cases it isn't we are like mice in a cage with cheese put outside the cage

                                                                                  • nathaniel avery
                                                                                    nathaniel avery  2 months back

                                                                                    If you love this movie! Go watch the Florida project

                                                                                    • Trinity Bonita
                                                                                      Trinity Bonita  2 months back

                                                                                      I was pissed!

                                                                                      • Dan Vaught
                                                                                        Dan Vaught  2 months back

                                                                                        No consequences for their actions. I call bullshit on this. She could've potentially gotten raped 3 different times putting herself in those situations. Stolen car, firing a gun, the cops would've busted their asses. Very unrealistic movie.

                                                                                        • Anonymous for Obvious reasons

                                                                                          Is this an economics class?