Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Russia, 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.
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 »
[Volodja gives her the world as a present]
Sorry, but I'm not sure it's a good present. It's windy, there's a mist. It's so cold. And this world isn't that good.
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Will Lukas Moodyson be the Andy Warhol of cinematography? It seems like he's on its way to achieve it as film after film Moodyson seems to find a subject that is shocking but stays a part of the society we cann't deny. "Lilja 4-ever" puts us back in some godforgotten village that used to be the powerful USSR. A place at where nothing really happens and where the youth just has to face violence and drugs (cheap medicine like syrup against coughing). Lilja is left alone by her mother who immigrates to the US and how much she defends, Lilja ends up as a childwhore. The movie is hard (the first seconds of the movie with Rammstein's "Mein herz brennt" already is unforgettable) and Moodyson does nothing special to shock his audience...the facts are just there and you can do with it what you want. A masterpiece.
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