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Lillian Lillian

Andreas Horvath / Austria / 2019 / 128 min / English, Russian

Austrian documentarian Andreas Horvath’s fiction debut tells a true story about a young immigrant who decides to walk back to her native Russia from New York.

festivals, awards Cannes 2019 – Directors' Fortnight, Karlovy Vary 2019


Lillian, an immigrant stranded in New York City, has overstayed her visa in America. In a moment of desperation, she applies for work in hardcore adult films but even they refuse to hire her without proper documentation. Advised to return home, she starts to walk. In the course of her journey, she frequently seems to be the only one on foot in deserted little towns and crowded motorways. She survives by scavenging for discarded food, shoplifting and breaking into abandoned homes. Walking through an American heartland that is slightly forlorn and scuffed around the edges, her chronicle is also one of a slow personal disappearance.

"The starting point for our film and our journey was the story of a Russian woman living in New York City, who one day set out to walk back to her homeland. It was only by accident that she was discovered by workmen in the Canadian boreal forest. Despite their warnings, she pursued her march alone toward the Bering Strait. Her name was Lillian Alling, the year was 1927. To this day she is still considered missing." (Andreas Horvath)

Andreas Horvath
Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1968, Andreas Horvath studied photography and multimedia-art. As a freelance photographer and filmmaker, he publishes photo books and creates independent films. His documentaries have received several awards at international film festivals, including Karlovy Vary and Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival.

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