Lilya 4-Ever (2002)
"Lilja 4-ever" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  23 August 2002 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 34,026 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 203 user | 112 critic | 26 from

Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilja (as Oksana Akinsjina)
Artyom Bogucharskiy ...
Volodya (as Artiom Bogutjarskij)
Lyubov Agapova ...
Lilja's Mother (as Ljubov Agapova)
Liliya Shinkaryova ...
Aunt Anna (as Lilija Sjinkarjova)
Elina Benenson ...
Pavel Ponomaryov ...
Andrei (as Pavel Ponomarjov)
Tomasz Neuman ...
Witek (as Tomas Neumann)
Anastasiya Bedredinova ...
Neighbor (as Anastasia Bedredinova)
Tõnu Kark ...
Nikolai Bentsler ...
Natasha's Boyfriend (as Nikolaj Bentsler)
Aleksander Dorosjkevitch ...
Friend #1 (as Aleksandr Dorosjkevitj)
Yevgeni Gurov ...
Friend #2 (as Jevgeni Gurov)
Aleksandr Sokolenko ...
Friend #3
Margo Kostelina ...
Cashier #1
Veronika Kovtun ...
Cashier #2


While waiting for her mothers reply to take her to the USA, Lilya idles the time away smoking, drinking and having fun with her, too, outcast friend Volodya. In time, the chance of a new life becomes non-existent; her life is going nowhere. Meeting a young man, she then finds a plane ticket in her hand and a new life in Sweden: a job, an apartment and prospects. All is not what it seems. There shall be work, there shall be housing and there shall be no escape. This is the stark, frank and disturbing vision of the life of a young victim of the underground sex trade and in all its tone of realism of abject poverty, despicable actions and of wanting to show that dreaming of a better life is not a crime but that life can shatter the illusion of a happy ending. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, a rape scene, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

23 August 2002 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Lilya 4-Ever  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$33,731 (USA) (18 April 2003)


$181,655 (USA) (23 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The money shown in the movie is the currency of Estonia (100 crown bills). See more »


Lilja: Do you want to buy anything?
Woman at yard sale: There's nothing to buy here!
See more »


Referenced in Filmselskabet: Episode #4.1 (2013) See more »


Written by Konstantin Meladze (as K. Meladze)
Performed by VIA Gra (as Via Gra)
With permission from Sony Music Entertainment (RUS)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Realistic To The Core
4 November 2004 | by (Saint Petersburg, Russia) – See all my reviews

The movie is extremely sad & hard to watch, cause of its unbelievably realistic picture of poverty, humiliation & depression in which the vast majority of people in the former USSR republics live, including here in Russia. The minority of those who have still managed to keep being human beings in this mess is surrounded & slowly devastated by demoralised animals, created by the decades of communist reign. The realism of the picture is overwhelming & scary. It is so unexpected that a Swedish director have managed to see all the sadness, corruption, violence & immorality of post-USSR space much more clearly than any Russian director ever will. Probably, it is because most people here in Russia see the hell which is going on around them as a normal thing. That's why we need movies such as this - to face the truth, we are so trying to escape in everyday life. Plus, the film exposes the problem of human traffic in such true-to-life manner, it is painful. Worth watching for former USSR citizens, in order to wake-up & realize how degenerate they're becoming. Worth watching for foreigners in order to understand how the 99% of people in Russia & other post-soviet countries live, outside the glamorous & fake facades of Moscow city.

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