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.
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 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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