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.
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
Although the watcher is not told in the film, the city in which Lilya arrives, is Malmö. The footage was shot in southern/eastern parts of the city center. For example, the tall gray buildings in the beginning and final scenes, seen on the background from the fatal bridge, are located in the district of Eriksfält. The apartment where Lilya is kept, is located at Eriksfältsgatan. Poor Dangoule - the life of which this story is based on - was however kept in an apartment in Arlöv, a town to the north of Malmö. The actual bridge that proved to be fatal is crossing Trelleborgsvägen. See more »
I killed myself and went to heaven and yeah, it's really good in heaven. But I regret it, 'cause I wanted to live on earth a little longer. You remain dead for all eternity, but you're alive only for a brief moment.
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I wasn't surprised by how perfect this film is from the first second to the last, since it's directed by Lukas Moodysson. Different than Tillsammans and Fuckin Åmål in style, but still absolutely fascinating. I could find only one minor flaw, which is Lilya's make-up after the fall. But everything else was wonderful. I hadn't heard of Oksana Akinshina before, but I have a strong feeling I will in the near future. She's really good. I was also amazed by the acting of the little boy.
The frames come so strong that you start to empathize with Lilya after some point. By the end of the film, I was feeling like she was my sister and I wanted to knock those procurers' heads off. I've heard the plot is based on a true story of a Lithuanian girl. I think it's not based on one single true story, it's rather a blend of several true stories. There are many Lilyas, Natalias, Annas out there who are suffering a similar fate. It's so very sad to see how those innocent girls grow into prostitutes just because they're born in some particular country.
Anyone with a heart will be touched and anyone with a taste on movies will be stunned by this movie. I'll buy the DVD as soon as it's available. It's a must have for any collection. One of the rare films I would watch more than once. Total 10.
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