The Unbearable Lightness of Being. 1988. USA. Directed by Philip Kaufman. Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carrière, Kaufman. With Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin. 171 min.
Against all odds, Philip Kaufman and Jean-Claude Carrière made something profoundly cinematic out of Milan Kundera’s “unfilmable” bestselling novel, which traces the lives and loves of a womanizing brain surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis), his fragile wife (Juliette Binoche), and his bohemian artist mistress (Lena Olin) over several dramatic months in 1968—from the thaw of Prague Spring until the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The film successfully balances Kundera’s weighty reflections on philosophy and history with his frissons of eroticism and ironical wit.
Courtesy of the Saul Zaentz Company. 35mm print restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation