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The Unbearable Lightness of Being ()


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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.

Director:
Awards:
  • Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 12 nominations.
  • See more »
Reviews:

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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

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Tomas
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Tereza
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Sabina
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Franz
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The Ambassador
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Pavel
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Chief Surgeon
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Interior Ministry Official
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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
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Swiss Photographer
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Russian Interrogator
Vladimír Valenta ...
Mayor
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Boy in Bar
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Bald Man in Bar
Consuelo De Haviland ...
Tall Brunette
Jacqueline Abraham-Vernier
Judith Atwell
Claudine Berg
Jean-Claude Bouillon ...
(as Jean-Claude Bouillion)
Miroslaw Beuer
Niven Busch
Margot Capelier
Victor Chelkoff
Monica Constandache
Jean-Claude Dauphin ...
Swiss editor
Dominique De Moncutt
Bernard Lepinaux
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Lecturer in Geneva
Gérard Moulévrier
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cameraman filming the tanks in Prague
Charly Oleg
Sylvie Plantard
Olga Baïdar-Poliakoff
Christine Potter
Romano
André Sanfratello
Jirí Stanislav
Milos Szoboda
Helenka Vernier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Serge Delanoue ...
Danseur (uncredited)
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Man walking on street outside Sabina's flat (uncredited)
Isabelle Noérie ...
Student (uncredited)

Directed by

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Philip Kaufman

Written by

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Milan Kundera ... (novel)
 
Jean-Claude Carrière ... (screenplay) &
Philip Kaufman ... (screenplay)

Produced by

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Bertil Ohlsson ... executive producer
Paul Zaentz ... associate producer
Saul Zaentz ... producer

Music by

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Mark Adler

Cinematography by

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Sven Nykvist

Film Editing by

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Vivien Hillgrove Gilliam ... (as Vivien Hillgrove)
Michael Magill
Walter Murch
B.J. Sears ... co-editor

Editorial Department

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Donah Bassett ... negative cutter
Jack Garsha ... color timer
Robert Grahamjones ... assistant editor

Production Design by

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Pierre Guffroy

Costume Design by

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Ann Roth

Makeup Department

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Suzanne Benoit ... key makeup artist
Rosalina Da Silva ... makeup artist: Lena Olin
Paul Le Blanc ... key hair stylist

Production Management

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Daniel Baschieri ... assistant unit manager
Frank Simeone ... unit production manager: USA unit
Daniel Szuster ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Eric Bartonio ... first assistant director
Simon Brook ... assistant director
Robert Kechichian ... second assistant director
Charles Paviot ... first assistant director

Art Department

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Jean-Michel Ducourty ... second assistant art director
René Loubet ... key constructor
Michael G. Ploog ... storyboard artist
Jean-Yves Rabier ... carpenter

Sound Department

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Agamemnon Andrianos ... production sound mixer: additional photography
James Austin ... staff: The Saul Zaentz Film Center
David Franklin Bergad ... sound editor
Mark Berger ... supervising re-recording mixer
Jean-Marie Blondel ... sound assistant
Todd Boekelheide ... re-recording mixer
Christopher Boyes ... staff: The Saul Zaentz Film Center
Luis Colina ... sound effects editor
Gloria D'Alessandro ... assistant dialog editor
Ernie Fosselius ... foley editor
Ruth Hasty ... apprentice sound editor
Richard Hymns ... sound effects editor
Pat Jackson ... sound effects editor
Ann Kroeber ... sound effects
Barbara McBane ... dialogue editor
Christopher Newman ... production sound mixer
David Parker ... re-recording mixer
Diana Pellegrini ... sound editor
Philip Rogers ... sound recordist
Karen Spangenberg ... dialog editor
Alan Splet ... sound designer
Dianna Stirpe ... sound apprentice
Ewa Sztompke ... sound effects assistant
Gwendolyn Yates Whittle ... assistant dialogue editor

Special Effects by

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Jozef Ort-Snep ... trick photography

Stunts

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Rémy Julienne ... stunt coordinator (as Remy Julienne)

Camera and Electrical Department

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Phil Bray ... still photographer
Richard Brodet ... best boy electric
Philippe Houdart ... camera operator
Bernard Noisette ... camera operator
George Michael Pantages ... gaffer: US production crew (as Michael Pantages)

Casting Department

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Marie-Sylvie Caillierez ... extras casting
Margot Capelier ... casting: french production crew
Patricia de Oliveira ... casting: US production crew
Sarah C. Koeppe ... casting associate

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Donna Maloney ... wardrobe

Location Management

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Patrick Boshart ... location scout
Jacques Frederix ... location manager

Music Department

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Mark Adler ... music arranger
Ernie Fosselius ... music arranger: Gevena production crew
Leos Janácek ... music: selected works from
Alan Splet ... music selection: Janacek's works
Jay Stebley ... music consultant
Jeffery Stephens ... assistant music editor

Other crew

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Kent Brown ... production assistant
Dennis Davidson ... publicity campaign
Peter Kaufman ... assistant to the director
Walter Slater Murch ... production assistant
Susan Lee Smith ... publicist (uncredited)

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines A Lovers Story. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être (France)
  • Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins (Germany)
  • La insoportable levedad del ser (Spain)
  • A lét elviselhetetlen könnyűsége (Hungary)
  • Nepodnošljiva lakoća postojanja (Serbia)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 171 min
Official Sites
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $17,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend United States $202,189, 05 Feb 1988

Did You Know?

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Trivia In 1989, the film was shown in Russia for the first time. Screenings were low-key, and held at midnight. Still, more than three thousand people attended each showing, with another thousand being turned away at the door. Many of the people had seen the Czech invasion footage before from the Soviet point of view - reedited to show the Soviet invaders as the heroes and the Czechs as the rebels. For many Russians, this was the first time they'd seen the point of view from the other side. See more »
Goofs Mephisto the Pig, consistently referred to as "he", is a sow, as can be seen frequently, but particularly when the group enters the inn for dancing. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Shoot to Kill/The Serpent and the Rainbow/She's Having a Baby/The Unbearable Lightness of Being/School Daze (1988). See more »
Soundtracks "String Quartet N°1 (Kreutzer Sonata) See more »
Quotes Tereza: I know I'm supposed to help you, but I can't. Instead of being your support I'm your weight. Life is very heavy to me, but it is so light to you. I can't bear this lightness, this freedom... I'm not strong enough.
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