TIFS - Lilja 4-ever
TIFS - Lilja 4-ever

On April 20, the Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's feature film "Lilja 4-ever" will be screened at the Film Museum's film club Tallinn International Film Society (TIFS). The plot and characters of the film are closely related to Estonia, where it was also largely shot. 

With TIFS cinema tickets, attendees can gain FREE access to the exhibition "My Free Country" at the Estonian History Museum's Maarjamäe Castle, providing a deeper exploration of the themes depicted in the films. 

Tristan Priimägi, the curator of TIFS film program, award-winning film critic, and author of the book "101 Estonian Films," has written about the film in the following way: 

Lilja (played by Oksana Akinshina) lives in poverty in a rundown Eastern European city and dreams of a better life. Abandoned by her mother, Lilja is left to fend for herself and ends up working as a prostitute due to severe financial difficulties. She meets Andrei, who offers her a better job in Sweden.

Although the setting of Lilja 4-ever is left anonymous in the film, it closely follows the life of a Lithuanian girl named Danguole Rasalaite, with much of the filming taking place in Estonia. Lilja lives in Paldiski, but many scenes were also filmed in Tallinn – in Kopli and Lasnamäe. Lilja 4-Ever was one of the first films by a foreign top director shot in post-Soviet Estonia, making it significant in Estonian film history. 

Primarily, Lilja 4-Ever is a symbol of the poverty fetishism associated with Eastern Europe at that time, a legacy still felt today. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union, and consequently the Iron Curtain, exposed the differences between the two polarities in Europe in terms of ideology and material living standards. The Wild East, rapidly reshaping according to new rules, generated numerous criminal and naturalistically socio-critical narratives that satisfied the Western world's desire for excitement and danger. The significant international success of Lilja 4-Ever attests to this: premiering in competition at the Venice Film Festival, winning five Swedish Guldbagge Awards (for Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actress, and Cinematographer), and Sweden also submitting it for the Foreign Language Film Oscar category. There was some controversy over its submission since the film's primary language is not Swedish, but after deliberation, it was not disqualified. 

Lukas Moodysson himself does not consider Lilja 4-Ever one of his best films, perhaps because time has revealed its partly exploitative nature. Nevertheless, as a symbol of its time in the development of Estonian cinema, it holds its place. 

The film will be screened with English subtitles.
Tickets are available HERE!

Age restriction: 16+