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Lukas Moodysson (1969 - )
Related: Sweden - film
Fucking Åmål, Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson [Amazon.com]
Karl Frederik Lukas Moodysson (born January 17, 1969) is a Swedish film writer and director. He has three children with his wife Coco.
His directorial breakthrough came with Fucking Åmål (retitled Show Me Love in English speaking countries.) A classical love story, filmed in a highly naturalistic, almost documentary style, it is set in the small and boring Swedish town of Åmål, and follows two young girls, one gay and one previously straight, who awkwardly fall in love. An often bitingly honest yet always tender and affectionate look at the agony of young love, the film was a huge success with both the Swedish public and the critics. It won four Guldbagge Awards, including best film, best direction and best script. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lukas_Moodysson [Aug 2005]
Fucking Åmål/Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson
Fucking Åmål/Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson [Amazon.com]
Åmål is a small insignificant town where nothing ever happens, where the latest trends are out of date when they get there. Young Elin has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to guys, but the fact is that she has never done *it*. Another girl in her school, Agnes, is in love with her but is too shy to do anything about it. For different reasons, Elin ends up at Agnes' birthday party as the only guest. They have a girl's night out together but after that Elin desperately avoids Agnes, refusing to even consider her own homosexuality. [incredibly well done feelgood movie about two girls in love]
Lilya 4-ever (2002) - Lukas Moodysson
Lilya 4-eve (2002) - Lukas Moodysson
Lilya 4-ever (or Lilja 4-ever) is Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's third full length film. It marks a sharp change of mood from his previous two films, the uplifting love story Fucking Åmål and 1970s comedy Tillsammans. Lilya 4-Ever is an unremittingly bleak story of the downward spiral of Lilya (played by Oksana Akinshina), a girl in the former Soviet Union, whose mother abandons her to move to the United States. The story is based on the life of Dangoule Rasalaite and examines the issue of trafficking in human beings.
The films starts with Lilya running desperately towards a motorway bridge, with a factory belching smoke in the background, to a soundtrack of aggressive rock by Rammstein. The film then looks back on how she ended up there.
Lilya's mother tells her they are emigrating to the USA with her boyfriend, but at the last minute Lilya is left behind, in the care of her aunt. A forced move into a squalid flat is only the beginning, and a succession on miseries are heaped upon Lilya, as her friend betrays her to save her own reputation, a gang viciously abuse her, and she is forced into prostitution to get by. One glimmer of hope is her friend Volodya (Artyom Bogucharsky), abused and rejected by his parents, with whom she forms a tender protective relationship. Another glimmer of hope is Andrei (Pavel Ponomaryov), who becomes her boyfriend and offers her a job in Sweden. But all is not what it seems, and only bad things await Lilya when she arrives there.
After arriving in Sweden, she is greeted by her future "employer" and taken to an apartment where he imprisons her. She is then forced to perform sexual acts with several men while her "employer" reaps all the financial gain. She then escapes with the help of Volodya's ghost (Volodya in the meantime committed suicide considering the fact that Lilya abandoned him for a better life in Sweden). She then commits suicide in the continuation of the scene from the beginning of the film.
The film's conclusion shows Lilya and Volodya, now both dead and angelic, playing blissfully on the roof of some tenement building, safe from all harm the world can do to them.
About the film
The film is set in an un-named 'former republic of the Soviet Union'; the 'Soviet' scenes were filmed in Tallinn in Estonia. The Swedish scenes were filmed in Malmö.
The film is considered by many to be very powerful and moving. Lukas Moodysson told audiences at the 2002 London Film Festival that he hoped the film would make them want to change the world for the better. Despite its bleak nature, Moodysson claims that the film is about the power of God, and shows how the human spirit clings to optimism even in the face of the most terrible adversity.
The film also arguably contains criticism of capitalism post Soviet collapse. Several times an image of the Virgin Mary appears on a wall behind Lilja next to a pornographic image (both of which being illegal in the U.S.S.R). Lilja consistently worships the image throughout before smashing it shortly before her suicide. Also, in a government building both Lilja and Volodya mention that their parents were employed there before the collapse of the Soviet Union and that they are now jobless. This is followed by Volodya reading a tribute to Lenin and the October revolution.
The film has been shown in various countries in Eastern Europe in campaigns to stop trafficking in human beings, in particular, women. In Moldova, The International Organization for Migration has shown it to 60,000 people. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilya_4-ever [Dec 2005]
See also: Sweden - prostitution - film
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