7.3/10
34,310
140 user 62 critic

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

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

Director:

Philip Kaufman

Writers:

Milan Kundera (novel), Jean-Claude Carrière (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,824 ( 527)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Tomas
Juliette Binoche ... Tereza
Lena Olin ... Sabina
Derek de Lint ... Franz
Erland Josephson ... The Ambassador
Pavel Landovský ... Pavel
Donald Moffat ... Chief Surgeon
Daniel Olbrychski ... Interior Ministry Official
Stellan Skarsgård ... The Engineer
Tomasz Borkowy Tomasz Borkowy ... Jiri (as Tomek Bork)
Bruce Myers Bruce Myers ... Czech Editor
Pavel Slabý Pavel Slabý ... Pavel's Nephew
Pascale Kalensky Pascale Kalensky ... Nurse Katja
Jacques Ciron 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

Taglines:

A Lovers Story.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house that Sabina is living in at the end when she's in America really belongs to film editor Walter Murch. See more »

Goofs

The action takes place around the time of the Prague Spring (roughly January to August 1968), but the car that Tomas uses in his first trip (Skoda 100/110) was not built until 1969. 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 The Intervention (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

"String Quartet N°1 (Kreutzer Sonata)
Composed by Leos Janácek
(1923)
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User Reviews

Overlong and slowmoving to the point of madness.
26 March 2004 | by triple8See all my reviews

I know this is considered one great picture but I am one of the people who's attention was lost early on. I have read on here, people complaining about the length but it wasn't only the almost unbearable running time that didn't do it for me, it was also the extremely slow lackluster pace. If a movie moves at a brisk pace and is enjoyable to watch the length may not even be felt. I wanted to like this because I felt I SHOULD like this because it's considered such an intellectual film that it's almost like you HAVE to like it. But I didn't.I'm not saying it's not an interesting film just not for everyone. The characters themsleves, lost me early on and there was such a slow buildup it was maddening. Add to that, the almost unbearable length of the picture and it's really hard to sit through.

I know this film has it's fans but reading the comments here it looks like I'm not alone in my thoughts on this. This is the type of movie you watch to have long, deep analytical discussions about after but in my case the only discussion I could come up with is: turn it off.


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Details

Country:

Sweden | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being See more »

Filming Locations:

Prague, Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,189, 7 February 1988

Gross USA:

$10,006,806

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,006,806
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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