Lilja 4-Ever * Lucas Moodysson * 2002

The Dutch public channel Nederland 3 has an ‘Danish summer’. Two Danish films a week during the summer season. This is very nice, because they show some films that have been on my wish-list for a while. Unfortunately I already missed two of them while I saw others that I had already seen.
“Lilja 4-Ever”, I have known about this film 4-ever! It is a Danish film, but it mostly plays in Russia and it is spoken in Russian. I know only two of the films of Moodysson, but “Fucking Åmål” is in a few ways similar to this one. Lilja from the title is a 16 year old girl living in Russia. In the first scenes we see her mother take off to the USA and leave Lilja behind. She now has to rely totally on herself. Her aunt puts her in a crappy appartment, but since Lilja still goes to school, she has no money for the rent or food. This soon becomes a big problem. Together with her much younger only friend Volodya Lilja dreams of better times. This seems to happen when Lilja meets Andrei, but things do not turn out exactly as she hoped…
This film shows the desperate situation in a poor, annamed Russian small town in a rather confronting way. You can quickly see where things lead to, but I won’t give that away here. A fact remains that like “Fucking Åmål” again presents a confronting view on the hard life of a teenager and this time put things in a bigger perspective to at the same time put a serious worldwide problem to question. A good film, but definately not a nice watch! <15/8/05><3>

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