Sunday, September 30, 2007

September Movie of the Month: LILJA 4-EVER (Spoiler ahead!)

September has given me 3 great films, one is a very touching Canadian drama about Alzhemer's desease which will surely give Julie Christie an Oscar nomination (mark my word!) and will sky rocket to the 2007's critics top ten list... The other one is the critically acclaim French noir thriller about a young man (Romain Duris) who is caught between his miserable gangster life and his fascinating passion for music. If I have seen these two films in the other months, they have strong chances to be on the top of my lists... But the best of September I should say is the very compelling Swedish drama LILJA 4-EVER.

This must be one of the 5 most depressing films I've seen in my entire life... It has related issues to Hillary Swank's film "Boy's Don't Cry" but this has to be more realistic and even harder to watch. The title of the film sounded to be innocent, full of hope until eternity, at least to a mind of a 16 year old girl.

Lilja is a typical girl in the Soviet Union, she was very happy when she learned that she is going to the US because her mother got married again. What she did not know is that her mother decided to abandon her permanently. As the story progresses, she lost everything, people, relatives, money and the only one on her side is a boy who is frequently beaten by his father... In order to avoid hunger, she was driven to engage in prostitution. This exploitation continued when his boyfriend sold him to a human trafficker in Sweden. And then she learned that all her prayer's to God and Angel's are useless, where her easy way out is simply death.

Lilja 4-Ever closeness to reality is extremely chilling... Actress Oksana Akinshina who played Lilja is undeaniably excellent and convincing. I can't forget the scenes where Lilja is very very happy when she first bought more than two items in the department store and never thinking that her money will run short and just buy everything that she likes. And also when she first had her airplane trip to Sweden and she was very excited to look at her food on a business class service... These made my movie viewing much more painful, she is just a girl who wants to be with her mother, to be at school and to never feel hungry again when the night comes...

But after she became a victim of human sex trafficking, her emotional core and her will to fight were completely destroyed and the only thought that lingers is the paradise that will give to her by death. THe film is so good but cruel to show how innocence, hope and prayers can be destroyed by the sad reality in this world... Lilja has no other choice, she is just a teenager who is trapped in a hell which is literally our world.

In the end of the film, Lilja is completely forgotten, no physical traces have left after her tough decision... but there is only one I guess, she carved her name on a piece of wood and all that is written is: LILJA 4-EVER.


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