The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • Dir: Philip Kaufman

  • USA, 1988, English, 171min, DCP

  • Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin

Philip Kaufman, Jean-Claude Carrière and Milan Kundera himself (as consultant) created this compelling film that evokes and yet diverges from Kundera’s powerful novel of Czech society and its intellectuals caught between hope and despair after the Prague Spring. Following the intertwined and extrapolated affairs of surgeon Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis), his artist lover Sabina (Lena Olin) and his lover-turned-wife, the waitress-turned-photographer Tereza (Juliette Binoche), we enter a maelstrom of political change and trajectories of exile. The film explores the quest for place, happiness and belonging in a world where betrayal is writ large across an entire nation.

BAFTA Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay

6.4 (SAT): Film talk with Long Tin



1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till one hour prior to respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

3. While it is the HKIFF’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, HKIFF will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.