The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Synopsis: Tomas is a doctor and a lady-killer in 1960s Czechoslovakia, an apolitical man who is struck with love for the bookish country girl Tereza; his more sophisticated sometime lover Sabina eventually accepts their relationship and the two women form an electric friendship. The three are caught up in the events of the Prague Spring (1968), until the Soviet tanks crush the non-violent rebels; their illusions are shattered and their lives change forever.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Philip Kaufman
Production: Orion Home Video
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
171 min

-Take off your clothes.


I said, take off your clothes.

But you saw everything last night.

But I need to check something.

Only for three seconds.

-The bastard.

-How does he do it?

One, two...


I've got to go.

Don't you ever spend the night

at the woman's place?


What about when a woman

is at your place?

I tell her I get insomnia.


Besides, I have a very narrow bed.

Are you afraid of women, Doctor?

Of course.

I really like you, Tomas.

You are the complete opposite of kitsch.

In the kingdom of kitsch...

you would be a monster.

-No, wait.

-Sabina, I've got to go.

No, wait. Wait.

Now, what am l?

A monster.

Room 6.

Here we go.


-Can you charge it to my room?

-Yes, of course.

That's funny.

-You're in Room 6.


And my shift finishes at 6:00 p.m.

And at 6:
00 p.m.,

I have to be back in Prague.

Around 6:
00 p.m.

I'll be back. Wait.


-You know, this is my bench.

-Your bench?

Yes, I come here every day to read,

to this same bench.

Isn't that funny?


-What are you reading?

-Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.

Yes, that Anna Karenina.


I would have come earlier,

but my mother....

You live with your mother?

-I've checked out of my room.

-Are you leaving?

Yes, it's getting late.

I just came for an operation.

A colleague of mine

was supposed to come...

but he injured himself.

Maybe I'll come back sometime.

Why would you come back here?

It's so boring.

Nobody here reads.

Nobody here discusses anything.

You know what I mean?

Yes, I do.

Nice to meet you. Goodbye.


Are you only searching for pleasure?

Or is every woman a new land...

whose secrets you want to discover?

You want to know what she's going to say

when she makes love?

Or how she will smile?

How she will whisper...

groan, scream....

Maybe the very smallest...

unimaginable details.

Tiny things that make one woman...

totally unlike any other.

What's my detail, Doctor?

Your hat, Sabina.

The hat...

comes from my grandfather's grandfather.

He lived a long, long time ago.

A long time ago.

What are you looking at?

Your eyes.



So, you are in Prague.

I just arrived.

I have friends to see.

I'm here on some business.

I'm looking for another job.

-Why don't you come in?

-Are you alone?


Take off your clothes.

Excuse me.

I must have caught a cold on the train.

Perhaps I'd better take a look at you.

Come here.

My hands cold?

-I'm very ticklish.

-Does it hurt there?

Look up. Down.



Don't worry.

I'm a doctor.

A bit higher.

That's it.




That's fine.

Up we go.

Everything looks fine.


Open your mouth.




They called from Geneva.

They are still offering you that job.

Why should I go to Geneva?

Everything's fine here.

I hope so.

You think the Russians won't interfere?

Think about what happened in Hungary.

They couldn't. The world wouldn't allow it.

Besides, we have socialism

with a human face.

Who could be against it?

-My patient is here.

-Which one? Pigs are not allowed.

-I told him to wait in the truck.

-But we will make an exception.

Hello, Doctor. You are not angry with me

because I brought Mephisto?

-Look, a gift for you.

-Wonderful. Thank you!

So, Pavel.

-We operated a month ago?


-Any pains?


-Dizziness? Headaches?


Good. You can get back to your farm.

We just need a small procedure

to replace the bone flap.

What time shall I expect

your visit tonight?

I'm sorry, I can't make it tonight.

Too bad.

How about tomorrow afternoon?

Tomorrow night.

So what I heard was right.

Somebody has moved into your place.


-I have my spies.

Goodbye, Doctor.

It's not here.

You must have come without your sock.

How could I have come without it?

I wouldn't wear only one sock, would l?

You've been very absent-minded lately.

Always in a hurry.

Always looking at your watch.

I'll lend you one of my stockings.

-You want me to put this on?

-It's cold out, Doctor.

You think I'm doing something silly.

Maybe. How can I know?

What are we talking about?


If I had two lives...

in one life,

I could invite her to stay at my place.

In the second life, I could kick her out.

Then I'd compare and see

which had been the best thing to do.

But we only live once.

Life's so light.

Like an outline, we can't ever...

fill in or correct.

Make any better.

It's frightening.

Listen, Sabina, she's looking for

something to do here in Prague, and l....

You want help her?

She's not qualified.

She takes beautiful pictures.

I was wondering if you might....

You mean...

you want me to help you.

Come on in, Tereza.

-Let's have some tea.

-Yes. Why don't you fix it?

Yeah, sure.

It's very messy around here.

I always try

not to get too attached to a place...

to objects...

or to people.

Tereza, come over here.

I want to show you some pictures.

-You know Man Ray?


I like....

I like this one very much.

This is Lee Miller.

She's so....

She's so beautiful.

Tomas says you're a photographer.

There's so much going on in the streets

to take pictures of.

I can help you get them published.

I love these pictures.

They were trying something different.

Searching for a new beauty.


Something higher.

Here's the tea I made.

What is it? Tereza?

I had a dream.

I was at her place.

Sabina's. In her studio.

And you were making love to her.

In that big bed of hers.

You made me stand by a wall...

and not move at all.

You made me watch.

And I had such pain from seeing you...

that I started to pierce needles

under my fingernails...

to stop the pain in my heart.

It hurt so much.

Why did you do it to me?

It was just a dream.

Try to sleep.

-I can't sleep.

-Yes, you can. Come here.

I can't fall asleep.

You can sleep. Sleep in my arms.

Like a baby bird.

Like a broom among brooms...

in a broom closet.

Like a tiny parrot.

Like a whistle.

Like a little song.

A song sung by a forest...

within a forest...

a thousand years ago.

Look! They are here! Tereza's pictures!

-Two full pages!

-Thanks, Sabina!

Congratulations! They're great.

Tereza, this is my colleague Jiri,

and this is the Chief.


-I'm pleased.


You've really captured a new spirit here.

You can see how everything is changing.

Not everything. Look over there.

Our comrades with the Russians.

Some people never change.

Some people are always scoundrels.

How can you tell?

I always ask myself,

"Does it show in a man's face?

"Can we judge by the face of a man

if he is a scoundrel or not?"

Let's look at them and see.







-No doubt.


We know you. Scoundrels.

What would you say about Tomas?

-He's definitely a scoundrel.


Why? Is it the mouth?

The sly eyes?

No, it's carefully hidden in the brain.

Such things are hidden in all of our brains.

-So what makes the difference?

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Jean-Claude Carrière

Jean-Claude Carrière (French: [ka.ʁjɛʁ]; born 17 September 1931) is a French novelist, screenwriter, actor, and Academy Award honoree. He was an alumnus of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud and was president of La Fémis, the French state film school. Carrière was a frequent collaborator with Luis Buñuel on the screenplays of Buñuel's late French films. more…

All Jean-Claude Carrière scripts | Jean-Claude Carrière Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    What is the "midpoint" in screenwriting?
    A The end of the screenplay
    B The beginning of the screenplay
    C The halfway point where the story shifts direction
    D The climax of the screenplay