4 Stars
Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 38 minutes
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Japan is home for a lot of crazy trends, but if the one featured in this film ever really catches on, the Japanese population is gonna have quite a nice little chunk taken out of it. The new “rage”, as it’s described in the film, is suicide. Ilya, a pop artist, decides to exploit this new trend by videotaping people’s suicides, editing them together and projecting them at a dance club.
Bobbing in the wake of people’s desensitization towards death due to all of the reality television shows and violent news programming, this film has come along at a good time. Just like people today thrill to televised acts of violence such as car chases or shootings, the suicides in “L’Ilya” are seen as entertainment, as glamorous art. One of the suicides, before going into a washroom to cut her wrist, comments to Ilya that she hopes she looks nice at the time of her death. Wrapped up in her work, Ilya still spends more time working with the images of her suicidals than being with her boyfriend. She shuts down emotionally, to the point that she’s becoming more and more like her dead subjects. Her boyfriend, seeing only one way to get her attention, decides to commit suicide himself.
A comment on the sign of our times as well as a poignant love story, “L’Ilya” will have you thinking twice next time you want to put a gun up to your head.

Posted on February 13, 2002 in Reviews by

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