All of Franz’s friends know that he is dating one of his students, but they never knew about Sabina, and she simply disappears from his life. Sometimes when Franz is alone with his girlfriend, he thinks about Sabina, but he never talks to her about Sabina. Franz’s girlfriend doesn’t understand his love for countries occupied by Russia, nor does she understand why Franz wants to attend a memorial meeting held by a Czech student group on the anniversary of the Russian invasion.
Franz loves the idea of Sabina as a persecuted Czech person more than he actually loves Sabina as an individual. Franz’s privileged life in France is wholly unlike Sabina’s experiences in Prague. Protesting communism and Russia’s occupation of Czechoslovakia give meaning, and therefore weight, to Franz’s life, which is generally light and meaningless.