The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Daniel Day-Lewis retrospective. Valentine's Day Special!

“In the title of Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the crucial word is “unbearable.” The film tells the story of a young surgeon (Daniel Day-Lewis) who attempts to float above the mundane world of personal responsibility and commitment to practice a sex life that has no traffic with the heart, to escape untouched from the world of sensual pleasure while retaining his privacy and his loneliness. By the end of the story, this freedom has become too great a load for him to bear.

“The surgeon’s name is Tomas, and he lives in Prague; we meet him in the blessed days before the Russian invasion of 1968. He has an understanding with a woman named Sabina, a painter whose goal is the same as his own - to have a physical relationship without an emotional one.

“The film will be noticed primarily for its eroticism. But what is remarkable, however, is not the sexual content itself, but the way Kaufman has been able to use it as an avenue for a complex story, one of nostalgia, loss, idealism and romance.” - Roger Ebert


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