The Unbearable Lightness of Being takes place mainly in Prague in the late 1960s and 1970s. It explores the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society from the Prague Spring of 1968 to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and three other Warsaw Pact countries and its aftermath. The main characters are: Tomáš, a surgeon; his wife Tereza, a photographer anguished by her husband's infidelities; Tomáš’s lover Sabina, a free-spirited artist; Franz, a Swiss university professor and lover of Sabina; and finally Šimon, Tomáš’s estranged son from an earlier marriage.
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