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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  5 February 1988 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 22,685 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 36 critic

In 1968, a Czech doctor with an active sex life meets a woman who wants monogamy, and then the Soviet invasion further disrupts their lives.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Franz
...
The Ambassador
Pavel Landovský ...
Pavel
...
Chief Surgeon
...
Interior Ministry Official
...
The Engineer
Tomasz Borkowy ...
Jiri (as Tomek Bork)
Bruce Myers ...
Czech Editor
Pavel Slabý ...
Pavel's Nephew
Pascale Kalensky ...
Nurse Katja
Jacques Ciron ...
Swiss Restaurant Manager
Anne Lonnberg ...
Swiss Photographer
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Storyline

Tomas is a doctor and a lady-killer in 1960s Czechoslovakia, an apolitical man who is struck with love for the bookish country girl Tereza; his more sophisticated sometime lover Sabina eventually accepts their relationship and the two women form an electric friendship. The three are caught up in the events of the Prague Spring (1968), until the Soviet tanks crush the non-violent rebels; their illusions are shattered and their lives change forever. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

soviet | doctor | tank | sex | invasion | See more »

Taglines:

A Lovers Story.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La insoportable levedad del ser  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,006,806 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Milan Kundera didn't particular care for this version of his novel and refused to do publicity for it. See more »

Goofs

While nowadays, many people in the Czech Republic wear wedding bands on the left hand, back in 1968 they would have worn them on their right hand regardless of their political stance. Both of the main characters are shown in the movie to wear their wedding bands on the left hand as they would have in the U.S., not Czechoslovakia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Title Card: In Prague, in 1968, there lived a young doctor named Tomas...
Tomas: Take off your clothes.
[line recurs several times during film]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Career Girls (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unbearably Beautiful - one of the best films ever made
11 August 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

One of the most romantic films ever made, it shows the problems of people whose intimacies and personal conflicts are being interrupted by history on the move. I think this film surpasses the novel, which is utterly cynical (although understandably). Even in the last moments of the novel, Teresa is concerned that Tomas is cheating on her. The film also does well by dropping much of Franz's character - he was kind of uninteresting compared to Teresa, Tomas, and Sabina. It also drops such deadweight characters as Teresa's mother, Tomas' son, and Franz's wife. Also, a ton of different coworkers are combined into a few, so that their characters have time to develop. By concentrating on the three central characters, this film blossoms past what the novel ever achieved (although the novel is arguably more historically important). Philip Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carriere also add a couple of beautiful scenes that weren't in the novel, including Tomas' and Teresa's wedding, which is one of the most beautiful scenes in filmdom.


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Awful, bad, horrible movie. schtrunfe
Judging the movie on its own merit... sabika-angelz
ONCE AGAIN: the ending - plothole? wim_mols
I've heard DDL say... chizdippler
READ THE BOOK! chelsea_104
Kundera's thoughts? JellybeanJack
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