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Helena Bonham Carter,
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bertrand Tavernier who was born in Lyon and still as links to the city and had been to Prague, suggested to Kaufman to use Lyon as a primary location as Prague was still out of reach because of Cold War tensions. See more »
The vintage camera used by Tereza and Sabina in their photo-shoot is a PRAKTICA LTL and it was not released till 1970. See more »
First Title Card:
In Prague, in 1968, there lived a young doctor named Tomas...
Take off your clothes.
[line recurs several times during film]
See more »
Too uneven and too long - but with great performances
Although the screenplay is based on the great and world-famous book by Milan Kundera, it was written by others (Jean-Claude Carrière and the director Philip Kaufman) and thus lost its original touch and approach - as was pointed out by Kundera himself who withdrew from the outcome. On the other hand, fragile feelings, ponderings and internal doubts are very difficult to express on the screen - without losing the pace and uniformity of the plot. It is also pity that Prague was not / could not been used, as it is a beautiful city and gives more realism than the French places used. Depicion of the socialist/communist oppression is, however, rather perfunctory, seeming not so serious as it really was in the 1970ies within the Warsaw block when hopes of intellectuals for the so-called human-faced socialism vanished as liberal steps were diminished or repealed.
The cast is, of course, brilliant, in particular the bohemian ménage à trois members: Daniel Day-Lewis as Tomas, Juliette Binoche as Tereza and Lena Olin as Sabina - all later multiple Academy Award winners and/or nominees, and from different European countries (the movie itself is still the US one). They and some other fine European actors have provided the movie a real European atmosphere, without a Hollywood studio feeling as sometimes perceived in "older" movies.
Nevertheless, The Unbearable Lightness of Being is still a movie high above average, enhancing historical facts as well. But it is hard to say whether is is recommendable to read the book before or after...
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