Lilya 4-Ever

August 23, 2002 0 By Fans
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Still of Oksana Akinshina and Elina Benenson in Lilya 4-EverStill of Lukas Moodysson in Lilya 4-EverStill of Oksana Akinshina in Lilya 4-Ever


Lilja is 16 years old. Her only friend is the young boy Volodja. They live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej. He is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.9/10 (20,779 voted)

Critic's Score: 82/100

Lukas Moodysson

Stars: Oksana Akinshina, Artyom Bogucharskiy, Pavel Ponomaryov

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.


Oksana Akinshina


(as Oksana Akinsjina)

Artyom Bogucharskiy


(as Artiom Bogutjarskij)

Lyubov Agapova

Lilja's Mother

(as Ljubov Agapova)

Liliya Shinkaryova

Aunt Anna

(as Lilija Sjinkarjova)

Elina Benenson


Pavel Ponomaryov


(as Pavel Ponomarjov)

Tomasz Neuman


(as Tomas Neumann)

Anastasiya Bedredinova


(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

Release Date: 23 August 2002

Filming Locations: Film i Väst, Nohab Industrial Estate, Trollhättan, Västra Götalands län, Sweden

Opening Weekend: $33,731
(20 April 2003)
(4 Screens)

Gross: $181,655
(26 May 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


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.


I'm not your property. Think you can buy me? You can't buy me. You can't buy my heart and soul.

User Review

Lilja 4-ever is as good as it gets

Rating: 10/10

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
emptiness. For me, nothing was the same after I did leave the cinema. I
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
movie did wake everyone up. Every day you do wake up, when you are
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
friends. In the evening you come home, you are cooking and eating. Maybe
do sit down with your wife and kids watching a good TV-show. When the
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
your neighbour. The time that pass from the beginning to the end is the
the director Lukas Moodysson have to convince you that the reality is not
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
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
of the 15 year old Russian actress Oksana Akinsjina makes it possible. I
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
pain in her eyes. If you are thinking about what is happing in the
you will understand her reactions. When it is painful then she cries
hope, when it is too painful she doesn't seems to react at all (exactly
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
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
falls. Lukas said in an interview that Volodja are a shape of Jesus in
end you will understand. These parts are telling about the dreams of
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
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
and even the evil characters are human, even the victims are not just

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
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
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
against each other is moving, it is a special chemistry between them.
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
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
The awards it won were for best movie, best picture, best manuscript,
direction, and the most important of them all, best performance by an
actress. Trafficking is the third biggest illegal industry in the world;
makes this movie so important. Lukas Moodysson and Oksana did manage to
up this nation, to show that our reality is not as good as we thought.
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
to make other decisions than Lilja and to many other young girls; this
was worth making.

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

/Josef Lundström