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Having impressed in Sergei Bodrov Jr's directorial debut,
, teenager Oksana Akinishina excels in this sobering study of life on the bottom rung. As the eponymous Lilya, she gives a believable performance of naive vulnerability, whether being cheeky to the Russian mother who abandons her to emigrate to the United States, exchanging insults with the classmates who think she's turned to prostitution, swooning over the stranger who promises her the Moon or enduring the exploitation of the grotesques who populate her nightmare existence in Malmo. But it's in the company of the 14-year-old Volodya (Artiom Bogucharskij), a substance-abusing runaway from Lilya's tenement estate, that the film finds the flicker of human warmth that makes its uncompromising realism all the more tragic.
A teenage girl living in poverty in the ruins of the Soviet Union has her hopes raised by her mother's promise to take her to America. When the plans fall through, she turns to prostitution to escape her miserable life, leading her into becoming a victim of the international sex trade. Drama, starring Oksana Akinshina, Artiom Bogucharski and Elina Benenson. In Russian, Swedish and English.
Cast & Crew
Russian, English, Swedish +subtitles
Contains violence, swearing, drug abuse, sex scenes and nudity.
25 Apr 2003
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