The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Film Info
Section:US Cinema
Resist Revolt Reform
Running Time:171 min.
Director:Philip Kaufman
Producer:Saul Zaentz
Screenwriter:Philip Kaufman
Jean-Claude Carrière
Cinematographer:Sven Nyquist
Editor:Walter Murch
Cast:Daniel Day-Lewis
Juliette Binoche
Lena Olin
Stellan Skarsgård
Donald Moffat
Erland Josephson
Print Source:The Saul Zaentz Company
Note Writer:Joe Bowman


Philip Kaufman’s sweeping, unforgettable adaptation of Milan Kundera’s classic novel, once thought to be unfilmable, finds Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, and Lena Olin at the height of their talents in an erotic and complex love triangle that spans years and countries. In the halcyon days leading up to the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, apolitical, skirt-chasing surgeon Tomas (Day-Lewis) enjoys a life free of the weight of emotional entanglements, particularly with his like-minded painter mistress Sabine (Olin). But when he meets shy waitress Tereza (Binoche), he decides to give “traditional marriage” a try before the three individuals get swept up in the Prague Spring. Grand in its scope and intimate in its detail (aided in no small part by Sven Nykvist’s masterful cinematography), The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which Kaufman (The Right Stuff) adapted with Jean-Claude Carrière (Belle de jour), is presented in a brand new, glorious 4K restoration by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

EXPECTED GUESTS: Director Philip Kaufman, Actor Lena Olin

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Additional Information

A Chicago native, San Francisco filmmaker Philip Kaufman made his directing debut with Goldstein (1964). His body of work includes The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972); Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978); The Wanderers (1979); The Right Stuff (1983): The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), for which he was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award®; Henry & June (1990); and Quills (2000). He shares story credit for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) with George Lucas.