American Honey

American Honey ★★★★★

When I first saw the poster for this, I thought it was a documentary. For some reason I let this deter me from the film. I'm not usually into documentaries.

Then I started reading all these glowing reviews, calling it "a glorious, golden ode to youth," etc. And I realized it's from my favorite new(ish) production company, A24, smacked myself, and watched the trailer.

Lo and behold, the trailer excited me. I texted my best friend, and the very next night there we were in the theatre, letting this beautiful sun-soaked journey wash over us for nearly three hours.

It was so long, but so short. I didn't want it to end. I found myself glued to the screen, watching and experiencing every frame. Every shot. The sun reflection through the trees on the pavement, the bee crawling on the windowsill, the fire on the hill in the dark of night. Every seemingly meaningless shot is so rich with life. With a sense of world-building, of a world we all know too well. This is America, today. "American Honey" is exactly the kind of film that earns the 'generation-defining' descriptor being thrown at it.

Five years ago I went to my first music festival, Camp Bisco (no, not Disco). I didn't bring my phone, I didn't bring a watch, I didn't even bring my glasses. I was totally disconnected from life back home, the only people I cared about were the ones with me. The only watch I needed was the sun. I was getting in touch with my inner dirty hippie. The nights were a blur; in our drugged-up stupor we wandered. Concert to concert, through the surrounding woods, dirt paths, we just moved forward. Only caring about what lies ahead of us. Never looking back.

And that's the exact feeling this film evokes so perfectly. Once we leave characters and places, they're gone. We don't see them again. They don't matter. What matters is what's with us. What's ahead of us. What's next.

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