Lilja 4-ever   2002   Sweden Lilja 4-ever
Lilja 4-ever Image Cover
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Director:Lukas Moodysson
Studio:Memfis Film
Writer:Lukas Moodysson
IMDb Rating:7.9 (20,508 votes)
Awards:12 wins & 11 nominations
Genre:Crime, Drama
Duration:109 min
Languages:Swedish
IMDb:0300140
Amazon:B00005JM7G
Search:NetflixYouTube
Lukas Moodysson  ...  (Director)
Lukas Moodysson  ...  (Writer)
 
Oksana Akinshina  ...  Lilja
Artyom Bogucharsky  ...  Volodya
Lyubov Agapova  ...  Lilja's Mother
Liliya Shinkaryova  ...  Aunt Anna
Elina Benenson  ...  Natasha
Pavel Ponomaryov  ...  Andrei
Tomasz Neuman  ...  Witek
Anastasiya Bedredinova  ...  Neighbor
Tõnu Kark  ...  Sergei
Nikolai Bentsler  ...  Natasha's Boyfriend
Aleksander Dorosjkevitch  ...  Friend #1
Yevgeni Gurov  ...  Friend #2 (as Jevgeni Gurov)
Aleksandr Sokolenko  ...  Friend #3
Margo Kostelina  ...  Cashier #1
Veronika Kovtun  ...  Cashier #2
Ulf Brantås  ...  Cinematographer
Artyom Bogucharskiy  ...  Volodya
Nathan Larson  ...  Composer
Comments: I've seen three recent films dealing with human trafficking: Trade, which was an unbelievable suckfest; Jammed, from Australia, which was good, way better than Trade; and Lilya 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.


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