Down 496 this week

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

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  23 August 2002 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 33,710 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.



0Check in

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

Related News

Women take centre stage at Way Out West
| ScreenDaily
We Are The Best! DVD Review
| The Hollywood News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Sep 2012
a list of 39 titles
created 19 Jan 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 09 Oct 2013
a list of 25 titles
created 25 Nov 2013
a list of 32 titles
created 06 Sep 2014

Related Items

Search for "Lilya 4-Ever" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Lilya 4-Ever (2002)

Lilya 4-Ever (2002) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Lilya 4-Ever.

User Polls

12 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Show Me Love (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin.

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Alexandra Dahlström, Rebecka Liljeberg, Erica Carlson
Together (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Elisabeth leaves her abusive and drunken husband Rolf, she packs her bags, takes the kids and goes to her brother Göran. The year is 1975 and Göran lives in a commune called Together. ... See full summary »

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Lisa Lindgren, Michael Nyqvist, Emma Samuelsson
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three girls in 1980s Stockholm decide to form a punk band -- despite not having any instruments and being told by everyone that punk is dead.

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

In a decript apartment, a young man watches as his father and a friend shoot an amateur porn film. Issues of morality, reality TV and friendship are explored.

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Thorsten Flinck, Björn Almroth, Sanna Bråding
Mammoth (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

While on a trip to Thailand, a successful American businessman tries to radically change his life. Back in New York, his wife and daughter find their relationship with their live-in Filipino maid changing around them. At the same time, in the Philippines, the maid's family struggles to deal with her absence.

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Michelle Williams, Marife Necesito
Christiane F. (1981)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This movie portrays the drug scene in Berlin in the 1970s, following tape recordings of Christiane F. 14-year-old Christiane lives with her mother and little sister in a typical multi-story... See full summary »

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Natja Brunckhorst, Eberhard Auriga, Peggy Bussieck
Evil (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Erik is expelled from school for fighting. He ends up at a private boarding school where the senior students control the young ones. Erik finds a friend in Pierre, his room mate. The story ... See full summary »

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: Andreas Wilson, Henrik Lundström, Gustaf Skarsgård
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An east European girl goes to America with her young son, expecting it to be like a Hollywood film.

Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse
Container (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Poetic, experimental and different, Container is described by Lukas Moodysson as "a black and white silent movie with sound" and with the following words; "A woman in a man's body. A man in... See full summary »

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Stars: Jena Malone, Peter Lorentzon, Mariha Åberg
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Moa is in her early 20s, works at a factory and lives by herself in a cottage in the forest. She is a vegan and follows her friends and demonstrations, mostly to fit in. But at home, by herself, she listens to pop music and use make-up.

Director: Tova Magnusson-Norling
Stars: Alexandra Dahlström, Sverrir Gudnason, Sebastian Ylvenius
Jalla! Jalla! (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Roro, a foreign worker in Swedish parks, loves his girlfriend but is about to marry another girl to prevent her from being sent back to Lebanon. Roros best friend, Måns, has his own ... See full summary »

Director: Josef Fares
Stars: Fares Fares, Torkel Petersson, Tuva Novotny
Irreversible (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel


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?


Oksana Akinshina and director Lukas Moodysson had to communicate through an interpreter because Oksana spoke neither English nor Swedish at the time. See more »


Lilja: That's stupid. I'm not going to die. I'm going to America.
See more »


Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »


All Övrig Musik
(All Other Music)
Written by Nathan Larson
Performed by Nathan Larson and Fläskkvartetten
Solo violin: Âsa Håkansson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lilja 4-ever is as good as it gets
5 February 2003 | by (Umeå, Sweden) – See all my reviews

It is not often that everyone is quiet after a movie at the cinema. Some were crying, others did not know how to act, ending up staring out in to the emptiness. For me, nothing was the same after I did leave the cinema. I know that it sounds like a cliché, but I tell you, it is not. Some of these people were laughing before they sat down, but the haunting beginning of the movie did wake everyone up. Every day you do wake up, when you are working you do hurry away; maybe you take your children with you to leave them at the nearby kindergarten. If it is a holiday, maybe you are of to meet some friends. In the evening you come home, you are cooking and eating. Maybe you do sit down with your wife and kids watching a good TV-show. When the night comes, you are wishing your child's a good night's sleep before you go to bed. It is not easy for you to know what is going on inside the apartment of your neighbour. The time that pass from the beginning to the end is the time the director Lukas Moodysson have to convince you that the reality is not as good as you may think, or maybe you already know, all to well.

The reality of leading character Lilja becomes slowly a part of your reality. You can choose to see Lilja in two different points of view. You can see her as a part of a fairly tale, and nothing more, than her life story will disappear after the movie in your shower. Or you may see her as she is; a picture of what life can do with people who are not as lucky as you, a picture of other girls in the same situation as she. The great acting of the 15 year old Russian actress Oksana Akinsjina makes it possible. I did almost forget that she is not Lilja when I did see the movie, it is heartbreaking when she is crying, and when she is happy her smile is the most wonderful you have seen that day. But a few minutes later you may see pain in her eyes. If you are thinking about what is happing in the movie, you will understand her reactions. When it is painful then she cries without hope, when it is too painful she doesn't seems to react at all (exactly like you!) and you don't need to imagine to feel the pain she have inside.

The one that will become more close to her than anyone else is the street kid and male leading character Volodja act by the 12 year old Artiom Bogutjarskij (his first movie). I have worked with street children and his acting is very authentic. When everything falls apart for Lilja, Volodja becomes her last hope, he is never leaving her in her mind he is always close. He is the one who is always there, the one that catches her when she falls. Lukas said in an interview that Volodja are a shape of Jesus in the end you will understand. These parts are telling about the dreams of Lilja, whom makes it easier to understand her vision of hope. Lukas is the best Swedish director now and maybe of all time. The integrity of his actors is intact, that he manages to do it in a movie like this shows how good as a director he is. He has a moving respect for Oksana and the way he cares about her integrity is the thing that makes this movie worth looking. His manuscript is trustworthy and don't have any illogical lacks. Nothing is darker than it could be in the reality. All characters are three dimensional and even the evil characters are human, even the victims are not just victims.

You may wonder if the reality is this dark. In a article in a Swedish newspaper Lukas Moodyson told that he had spoken with a social worker and he was told that some mothers do sell their own kids for 1 £ to the sex industry. Though the movie is fictional and not about her, many of the memorable things that are happening to Lilja in the movie did happen to Dangoule Rasalaite from Latvia between the 17th September 1999 and the 10th January 2000. Lukas read about her in an article. The reality is always worse than the fiction.

The young actors do carry the weight of the movie with grace. Their acting against each other is moving, it is a special chemistry between them. Lukas has the gift of finding the right persons for the characters in all is movies, and Lilja 4-ever is not an exception. Last Monday Lilja forever won 5 out of 6 gold beagles (the most important Swedish film award) it was nominated to (Artiom was also nominated for best performance by an actor). The awards it won were for best movie, best picture, best manuscript, best direction, and the most important of them all, best performance by an actress. Trafficking is the third biggest illegal industry in the world; it makes this movie so important. Lukas Moodysson and Oksana did manage to wake up this nation, to show that our reality is not as good as we thought. We can see it in the reactions of the cinema public, how people are talking about it afterwards, and in the newspapers. The Swedish government are working for the possibility to show this movie in schools all over the former Sovjet Union. Lukas has said that if this movie can convince one girl to make other decisions than Lilja and to many other young girls; this movie was worth making.

This movie is worth more than all the awards it has won and all the awards it will win. This movie can change your point of view, it is that message of hope it brings.

/Josef Lundström

244 of 271 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Most depressing and bleak movies without gore lozza_199
Other Realist/bleak movies besty1
i didn't cry stranded_desert
Film is about RUSSIA (Estonia was used as location only) robertodelamar
Cut scene? ArretezCharlotte
She was like 13 or 14 years.. Floepsel
Discuss Lilya 4-Ever (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: