INTERVIEW LUKAS MOODYSSON
Writer-director of Lilya 4-ever
Lukas Moodysson is a Swede who makes great films. His impressive debut. the sweet Show Me Love. was outdone by his second film. the hilarious Together. And with Lilya 4-ever_ he's con‘pleted a hat trick. His third film. an unrelentineg dark drama showing how a Russian girl is conned into )oining the Swedish sex trade. is a giant leap forward No wonder MoodyssOn's been compared to the great Swedish auteur Ingmar Bergman. The List trekked across Europe to find the Swede at the Berlin Film
FOSIIVEII, Why make a film in Russian?
There are some things in life that you love and you don't know why you love them. and I love Russia.
00 you speak Russian?
I would like to speak Russian. but I don‘t. I cannot even guarantee that the w0rds the cast of mm ‘1- ever are saying are the words I Wrote. but I can guarantee and could control the emotional levels and
how they were acting. Wasn’t this hard?
The first day was very difficult. We were deing an exterior scene and it was rainy and muddy. I did not
corrimunicate well wrth the Swedish photographer. and the actors were not really good on the first day —
they were trying to follow the script too closely so I told them to improVise. I remember falling back in the mud because everything was complete chaos and then I decided to let it be chaos. but it was nice
How did you go about researching the story?
I had to go to some terrible — not in a physical sense — places to write the script for this. I had to live through a girl being raped everyday. and that is not
such a nice experience.
Why tell the story in ﬂashback?
I wanted a move was not very surprising. The terrible thing about the movre is not that yOU don‘t know what is geing to happen. but that you know that is gorng to happen and still you cannot stop it. It just goes on and on and on. You know approxunately. but not exactly where it wrll end. People tell me that it is hard to watch because you know all the time it WI”
get worse and worse.
DRAMA PURE (18) 96min oooo
Only a former inner City youth worker could have made this film. That is not to say in any way that Pure IS a bad film. but it does display an empathy With the lead characters that can. at times. be smothering. This is quite Simply a film that you either buy into. and hand over your slightly battered soul to. or you don't. In short. it is a Gillies Mackinnon (Regeneration. Hideous Kinky) film.
In the shadow of West Ham's football ground ten-year-old Paul (Harry Eden) looks after his Junkie mum Mel (Molly Parker) and youngest brother Lee (Vinni Hunter). Which isn't so easy when you have to deal With drug dealers. seeial servrces
This film is more stylistic than your others. I'm glad yOu lilOliilOllCd this because take a new step visually I am very happy with soiiie it". a s." of the functional photography especially tl‘e scene where Lilya is vomiting.
What do you think of Ingmar Bergman?
I think that there are many people today in Sweden who really want to criticise Borgrrian, That is ~.en, sad because he is one of the mapr film directors of
With his unrelentingly dark drama Lilya 4-ever. Moodysson’s taken a giant leap forward
You‘ve been compared with him. Are you like him? we wanted to see 'i“.si::=‘ as ti‘e sane kii‘d of 'onelj, person. He ixes ‘ai: Isiand. he 'tas this big house and his wife "as :fied an.) think e'.i:in.::ne talks shit about 'lli'Y‘ iii”:an This grit" .isitm (1‘ "33,801? in the same positior‘ when In 82. with e‘~.ierj,::od', ‘;£t‘,-l‘i(l' 'Oh finailj, there is a new generation. We can kill Moodvsscn'
I a J eier ;>/a-,s at the (if T. G/asgoi'. a Cameo. Edinburgh from Fri 2:3 Apr See H?‘v.'(;".".'. this page
and an interfering nanna (Geraldine McEwanl.
As With the superb Smal/ Faces and the TV film Conquest of the South Pole. Mackinnon uses the naturalistic and social realist contexts as a way of exploring relationships and patterns of communication that have been stymied by poverty. loss and stupidity. Alison Hume's screenplay is spare and t0uching. but never maudlin. and Mackinnon directs With his usual disregard for Visual theatrics. It makes fOr compuls‘ive vrewrng. Cinematographer John de Borman's Vice-like close ups and wondrous Wide angles catch the essence of lives lived on the margins. Eden and Parker hold the core of the move together With rare subtlety and there is not a dumb performance or a wasted moment anywhere.
On top of this it has the best shots of kids-on-bikes committed to celIuIOid Since John Cassavetes' Faces. What more do yOu want? (Paul Dale) I Fr/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 2 Ma): See preview. page 24.
DRAMA LILYA 4-EVER (18) 109min O...
This is not. repeat. NOT a Friday night feelgood film. If you're looking for a light appetiser to a night of beer and chat with your mates. look somewhere else because the latest from acclaimed Swedish director Lukas Moodysson Show Me Love. Together) will almost certainly put yOu in a state of shock.
By far the darkest of Moodysson's films to date. this feature tells of lb—yearold Lilya iOksana Akinshinal and hm life of ever-increasing misery Liying on a dilapidated housing estate in an unspeCified city of the former Soviet Union. Lilya is first abandoned by her mother. who goes off to live in America wrth her new boyfriend. She is then moved by her aunt from her comparatively cosy flat to a filthy hole. where she's left without money for food and electriCity. Forced to turn to the oldest profession in the world. the future for Lilya. and the film. looks pretty bleak at this point. Hope. such as it is. is given by Lilya's burgeoning friendship with another reiected child. a young boy called Volodia. but this is all-too short lived as Moodysson digs deeper into the abyss. revealing his true purpose: a graphic expose of European sex trafficking.
Many out there will have read in the newspapers of the ever-increasing trade of underage eastern European prostitutes in western European oities. It seems grim in print. but on screen. with Moodysson's unflinching direction and Akinshina's remarkable performance in the leading role. it pa CKS a punch that leax es yOu reeling. iCatherine Bromleyi I Lilia J-eier plays at the OFT. Glasgow.’ 8 Cameo. Edinburgh from Fri 25 Apr. See preview. this page.
Packs a punch that leaves you reeling
2.: Apr-8 Ma, 280’: THE US? 25