Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Philip Kaufman's 1988 adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) begins by introducing us to a setting -- Czechoslovakia, 1968 -- and three main characters, Sabina, Tomáš and Tereza. A small handful of other characters float through the story, including Karenin, a dog.

Kaufman's film has the strong feel of a novella or novel -- it has nuance, complexity, depth and breadth. It is also visually elegant and interesting. Social relationships are explored, within the backdrop of the Prague Spring of 1968 (from which the Arab Spring of 2011 derives its name) and during and after Soviet reassertion of control with soldiers, tanks, police and repression -- including periods of exile. The Unbearable Lightness of Being has substance, and it's absorbing.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is particularly cool in how it considers personal freedom of choice and political freedoms; freedom of action and freedom of speech; and social connectedness. Existence and existentialism -- life, being, responsibility, choice and action. 

Today's Rune: Strength.    

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I loved that movie. They don't make them like that anymore.