The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

DVD - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Set in Czechoslovakia in the 1960's, the story revolves around a young doctor who has a way with women and an aversion to politics. He suddenly finds himself caught up in his country's political turmoil and in a crisis of commitment with the women in his life.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, [2006]
Edition: Two-disc special ed
ISBN: 9781419817144
Branch Call Number: DVD UNBEARA 2DISCS
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 172 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 26, 2018

Directed by Philip Kaufman in 1988 based on the novel of the same name by Milan Kundera, this American film portrays the effect on Czechoslovak artistic and intellectual life during the 1968 Prague Spring of socialist liberalization preceding the invasion by the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact that ushered in a period of communist repression.
It portrays the moral, political, and psycho-sexual consequences for three bohemian friends: a surgeon, and two female artists with whom he has a sexual relationship.
I was expecting a political thriller, but it is more like a fantasy of a teenaged boy as far as sexual encounter goes.
What a disappointment!
Today sexual misconduct and sexual harassment have no place in our society.
In the opening "take off your clothes" scene, the film shows inappropriate sexual remarks, if not sexual misconduct of a surgeon. :-)
The film appears too long, but it lacks in substance.
Despite the good casting, the screenplay turns out sloppy.
Even a fine director can't make a good movie out of a bad script.

Jan 23, 2017

Most boring movie ever made.

Jan 10, 2017

Movie is based on the book of the same title by Milan Kundera. If you want to know more about this well known European novelist, you can check his work through

Milan Kundera is a Czech and French writer of Czech origin who has lived in exile in France since 1975, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1981. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke.

Dec 24, 2016

Loved this movie. A top notch historical drama showing the life and times before and after the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. It resonates for me because I remember the time myself as we had two Czech refugees join the physics program I was then taking at the University of Alberta. One was brilliantly successful but not all the refugees had skills to market. The movie includes actual footage of the streets of Prague during the invasion and tells the story of ordinary people: some accepted the invaders and joined the communist party to keep their jobs. Some escaped to the west. Some couldn't cope and decided to go back. I thought it was a very poignant story and the ending was brilliant.

Dec 20, 2016

This would have been a better viewing experience for me had I watched the special features first, in particular about making the movie. It helped contextualize somethings that I had wished I'd understood before watching the film. Otherwise, the film is nothing more than it seems, a bunch of disconnected scenes with a weak woman, a womanizer of high degree set lightly against the backdrop of the Russian takeover of Czechoslovakia.

Feb 17, 2016

Unbearable tedium between sex scenes

Oct 14, 2015

This film is 2.5 decades old but it remains one of my top films in the human drama/love triangle genre. At close to 3 hours it is a long film, but it held my attention throughout. The political backdrop - Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia - provides a more solemn tone to the otherwise more mundane love story. Excellent acting by all.

According to a number of reviews that I've read (on IMDb) - This 1988 movie was, apparently, an absolute corruption of the novel, which was written by Czech-writer, Milan Kundera, in 1984.

Perhaps this was so (I haven't read Kundera's book) - But I will tell you one thing that's totally true - At a 3-hour running time, "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being" was, indeed, totally unbearable to tolerate.

Regardless of containing some deliberately distracting, soft-core erotica, thrown into the story for good measure, the love-triangle that transpired between Tomas, Tereza and Sabina was such a tiresome, little, cry-baby affair that any gratuitous sexuality wedged into the action only served to render the rest of the story as being nothing but a blasted bore.

Set in Prague in the year 1968 - Believe me, this film was very-very dry storytelling.

And, I think that that dullard, actor, Daniel Day-Lewis was totally miscast as the fickle, conceited, playboy doctor who seemed to spend a good part of his waking hours dutifully jumping in and out of bed with one babe after another.

Dec 16, 2013

Sexy time! Based on Milan Kundera's great novel of sex, philosophy and the Prague Spring, D. Day-Lewis plays a Czech doctor who "gets around" (and I don't mean by bicycle!) and is involved with two women, a sensual artist who wears a bowler (Lena Olin) and the sweet, more reserved Juliette Binoche. For a mainstream film, there is a fair amount of sex and it's often compared to "Last Tango in Paris." The performances are good, although Day-Lewis is much more subdued than he would be in later films like "There Will Be Blood" and "Gangs of New York." He plays his character as if he's aloofly amused at his ability to seduce pretty much any woman. As a literary adaptation, it's a failure, totally jettisoning the philosophical undertones of the novel in favor of sex and evil Soviets. Also, did it need to be almost 3 hours long? Probably not, but it helps it be more "unbearable." Part of director Philip Kaufman's sex trilogy, also see "Henry & June" and "Quills."

aaa5756 Nov 22, 2013

This movie was entertaining and interesting but not one of my favorite for this year. Not too bad---good performance. I fast forwarded a lot but not all the way.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

aaa5756 Nov 22, 2013

"Respect is for the dead, the living knead dough."- Archie Bunker

aaa5756 Nov 22, 2013

“Respectability is the punishment of the wild.”-Margaret Mitchell

Sep 16, 2010

Tomas: Take off your clothes. [says this about 12 times in the movie... seduces ladies 100% of the time, everytime]


Add Notices

Aug 04, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SCCLD

To Top