Sixteen-year-old Lilya (Akinshina) is cruelly abandoned by her mother to post-Soviet welfare and an aunt who only wants to steal the little she has. From here, things go downhill. The aunt turfs her out of their flat. Her only true friend is Volodya (Bogucharskij), a suicidal 13-year-old suffering at the fists of his father. Her only asset is her looks. It's taken for granted she will cash in sooner or later. Then she meets Andrei, who holds out the promise of a better world, and provides her with what we know all along will be a one-way ticket to hell on earth. Writer/director Moodysson's third film is grim and gruelling, a 'feelbad' entertainment signalled by scalding blasts of cacophonous Rammstein at ear-splitting volume. A flashback structure imbues the manifold injustices which befall Lilya with a harrowing inevitability. The film's soul is revealed in the friendship between Lilya and Volodya, their solace in sorrows shared, her innate kindness and generosity, his reciprocal fidelity and affection. Moodysson retains his knack for getting vivid, natural, immensely sympathetic performances out of children. Their humanity invests the movie with heartbreaking power.
Cast and crew