Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live 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.
A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
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
The town in which Lilja lives, is in real life called Paldiski and is located in Estonia, not far from the capital Tallinn. The submarine base has now been destroyed. Some scenes are indeed shot in Paldiski, but many in Tallinn - in the districts of Kopli and Lasnamäe. See more »
All The Love You Needed
Written by F. Rinman / M. Pardon
Performed by Marya Roxx (as Maarja)
With permission from Murlyn Songs AB / Universal Music Publishing / Universal Music AB - A Universal Music Company See more »
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.
77 of 91 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?