Lilja 4-ever (2002)
Sweden / Russian
Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Russia, 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.
A sad familiar story
During this movie I felt more and more sorry for Lilja (Oksana
Akinshina), a girl from the former Soviet Union. As the viewer you know
what will happen with the poor girl because it seems so logical, but
from her point of view it is just a great opportunity that turns out to
be something completely different. First her mother leaves her to go to
America with a new husband. Lilja thinks she will travel after her
mother some time later, but that is not going to happen. Her only
friend is Volodya (Artyom Bogucharsky), a young boy she hangs out with.
Then she meets a boy who says he likes her. He invites her to come to
Sweden with him, start a life together. She has to go first, he will
travel after her, again, some time later. Volodya does not agree with
it, but she goes anyway. Arriving in Sweden she is picked up by an
older man, put in an apartment locked from the outside, and we
understand that the boy will not travel after her. The next day the man
brings Lilja another man; she must have sex with him. Finally it is
clear for her, sort of, as it was for us all along.
I guess there are thousands and thousands of stories like this and
realizing that Lilja's story is even more sad. The way certain people
use unhappiness of others is terrible and 'Lilja 4-ever' shows us in a
realistic way how easy it basically is. If you are as unhappy as Lilja
every opportunity seems fantastic.
There are two scenes that you will remember. The first shows us Lilja's
face when the men are on top of her. She just lies there, helpless,
without any reason to live. The second shows us the faces of the men
that are on top of her. This montage lets us see the ugliness of those
people, what kind of animals the world knows. 'Lilja 4-ever' is a sad
movie, but a good movie. Although we probably know that things like
this happen, it is not bad to realize that from time to time. 'Fucking
Åmål' director Lukas Moodysson makes sure we do that with his movie.
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