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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • Film
Romantic film: Unbearable Lightness of Being
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Time Out says

Prague, 1968: womanising doctor Tomas (Day Lewis) and his lover Sabina (Olin) are giddy with the social and sexual liberation of Czech communism. But when Tomas meets shy, sensitive Teresa (Binoche), he is forced to re-think his self-protective irresponsibility towards others, just as Prague suffers traumatic changes when the Russian tanks arrive. Kaufman's intelligent, faithful version of Milan Kundera's novel wisely jettisons the woolly philosophising, focusing on characters, relationships, and the many facets of loyalty and betrayal. It's a rich, ambitious film, repetitive and voyeuristic in its eroticism, but exhilarating in its blend of documentary and fictional recreation to depict the Soviet invasion. The narrative, now linear (unlike the book), is leisurely, the camerawork evocative; the progress from cynical irony to something more heartfelt rarely falters. Binoche and Olin avoid being reduced to symbols of Tomas' polarised soul, and Day Lewis seems increasingly one of the most versatile actors of his generation.
Written by GA

Release Details

  • Duration:172 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Philip Kaufman
  • Screenwriter:Philip Kaufman, Jean-Claude Carrière
  • Cast:
    • Derek De Lint
    • Daniel Day-Lewis
    • Pavel Landovsky
    • Erland Josephson
    • Daniel Olbrychski
    • Juliette Binoche
    • Lena Olin
    • Donald Moffat
    • Laszlo Szabo
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