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Yesterday my girlfriend and I decided to rent a movie, as we often do. Our tastes differ quite a lot; I am prone to liking A-movies that didn't quite make the grade: films starring James Spader, Kevin Costner or Kurt Russel immediately catch my attention and I usually enjoy them. Maybe it's because I expect very little and often get more than a little in return. I'm pretty sure a movie like 3000 Miles to Graceland flopped bigtime, at least I'm pretty sure it was instant video fare here in the Netherlands. But I enjoyed it bigtime. I even, dare I say it, enjoyed waterworld. The odd thing is I absolutely hated succesful movies like Gladiator and Spider-man 2. Go figure it out
Well, as you can imagine I have yet to find someone to share this oddity with. Fortunately I like many Arthouse films as well, though my local video-store, located at crawling distance, is poorly stocked in that department. My girlfriend has a tendency to look for the saddest stories she can find, if possible based on true stories. Not per sť my thing, but relationships are about give and take, I guess. So yesterday we rented Lilya4ever. It must be the saddest fucking movie I ever saw. As Reinder put it, it makes the collected works of Ingmar Bergman look like the Benny Hill show. It tells the story of a Russian teenager being abandoned by her mother, left to fend for herself. This eventually leads to prostitution, once she runs out of money and the heat is cut off in her dreary apartment, and there's no more food on the table. Her only friend is an even younger boy whose only joy in life is playing basketball with an empty can and sniffing glue. Soon she's shanghaied by a "lover boy," a good looking young man being nice to her and shipping her to Sweden, promising her a Better Life. In Sweden she's locked in an apartment and only let out to prostitute herself. Not trying to spoil the ending for you, this ain't no feel-good movie. It is a beautiful, well made film, though. Superbly acted, well directed.
But oh, so fucking sad.


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