S ljubov'ju. Lilja
With Love. Lilja confirms the talent that Larisa Sadilova revealed in her début film Happy Birthday. A talent with which she involves us in the life of ordinary Russians, people from the countryside who are not often seen in Russian cinema these days. Sadilova, one of the few contemporary Russian female directors, makes widespread use of amateur actors and uses a style reminiscent of documentaries. With her `female realism', she is not hip or forcibly modern, but rather ties in with Soviet cinema from the 1970s.The protagonist, Lilja, is a rather naïve and lonely inhabitant of the countryside, like so many. She is 35 and divides her time between caring for her old father and her work in the poultry slaughterhouse. Despite her moving charm, she lacks a man in her life. She is however looking hard and keeps meeting new candidates at encounters arranged in a hotel owned by a friend of hers. She writes lots of cards, but that's about as far as it gets. Then one day, she falls for a handsome pianist. Lilja does her level best to enchant him, but nevertheless things don't work out the way she dreamed them.