|Lilja 4-ever 2002 Sweden Lilja 4-ever|
Trade was propaganda bullshit and tried to consciousness-raise that way but it failed because the story was too far fetched to believe. Jammed seemed to want to make you angry. It showed us a lot of how the world of human trafficking works and suffocates the people involved. Lilya 4-Ever was a much simpler story, sad and dreary.
Lilya is sixteen and the weather in the unnamed Russian locale was awful, foggy and cold. Lilya's mother leaves her, moves to the States with her new boyfriend, then sends a letter to Social Services renouncing her guardianship of the "unwanted child"; her aunt assumes control of Lilya and essentially takes everything away from her for herself and tells Lilya to go downtown and spread her legs; and her best friend, Anna, tells everyone that Lilya is prostituting herself for money in order to cover up the fact that it's really her that is doing it. Ergo ... easy prey.
Screen time is devoted almost entirely to Lilya and her 14 year glue sniffing friend Volyada. Both performances are well-executed and believable by these two young people. This is the second film I've seen by Swedish writer/director Lukas Moodysson. The other was Fucking Åmål. He tells simple stories and I think this helps to get sympathetic performances from his young actors.
Of the three trafficking films mentioned here, this one is probably the best, bust it is also the least about trafficking. It's a sad story about a simple girl whose life is pulled out from under her.
Summary: Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in a poor village in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.