Czech Dream

Czech Dream

5.0 1
Director: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda

Cast: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda

     
 
In post-Communist Czech Republic, consumers no longer wait on long lines for essential goods, but in recent years, they've been known to camp out overnight in anticipation of the grand opening of the latest "hypermarket." The rapid expansion of the hypermarket phenomenon in their homeland inspired young filmmakers Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda to use state-of-the-art

Overview

In post-Communist Czech Republic, consumers no longer wait on long lines for essential goods, but in recent years, they've been known to camp out overnight in anticipation of the grand opening of the latest "hypermarket." The rapid expansion of the hypermarket phenomenon in their homeland inspired young filmmakers Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda to use state-of-the-art marketing techniques to wage a massive promotional campaign for their own hypermarket, which they would call, "Czech Dream." The major difference between Czech Dream and its competitors was that the Czech Dream hypermarket existed only in Klusák and Remunda's imaginations. And so, perhaps the most elaborate prank in the history of documentary filmmaking began. First, Klusák and Remunda hired image consultants, ditching their shabby student appearances for something slick, corporate, and upbeat. Newly yuppified, the filmmakers hired the advertising agency Mark BBDO to help them sell their fraud to the public. An ingeniously forthright ad campaign, plastered on bus kiosks and billboards throughout Prague, warns potential shoppers, "Don't come...don't rush...don't spend." A schmaltzy jingle plays on the radio, and television ads are placed. The nonexistent market's location is withheld from the public until just before opening day, when a huge crowd gathers in a meadow outside the city, where behind a colorful facade lies...nothing. Czech Dream was shown at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, where it was introduced by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Czech Dream is an undeniably entertaining documentary. The filmmaker's mischievous sense of fun, along with the simple premise, may lead one to believe that the film has all the imagination and sociopolitical import of a 90-minute episode of Punk'd. But the underlying examination of the pervasiveness and power of advertising is pointed, and the filmmakers, Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, seem sincere in drawing a parallel between their efforts to promote a hypermarket that doesn't exist, and the Czech government's ad campaign to convince the populace that joining the European Union is a good idea. The film hits its target squarely in the run-up to the hypermarket opening, showing the enthusiasm and technical expertise, and the underlying mendacity of the advertising industry as they determine precisely how to sell the public something which it doesn't yet know it wants, and which it will never need. In this sense, the doc makes a fine companion piece to Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott's excellent The Corporation, which makes a similar point in less sensational fashion. Of course, one major difference is that Achbar and Abbott avoid blaming the victim. There's an inescapable element of cruelty to Czech Dream. However funny and trenchant it is in its critique of the forces that create and encourage rampant consumerism, the final joke is aimed squarely at the end user. There's a bitter chill in the film's final act, as the excited, duped would-be shoppers make the long trek toward nothingness. No matter how graceful and insightful some of the responses to being misled (some of the shoppers actually make an immediate connection to the Czech Republic's entry into the EU), one can't help feeling that Klusák and Remunda have once again made fools of those they might be protecting from the mercenary forces of capitalism.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2007
UPC:
0829567039922
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
NR
Source:
Virgil Films
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Letterbox]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:28:00
Sales rank:
55,956

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Czech Dream 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! I saw this documentary in the fall of '04 at the True/False film festival in Columbia Missouri and have been eagerly awaiting the American DVD release since then. If you enjoy thought provoking documentaries then give this a try. Additionally, this had many moments that are laugh out loud funny. Without getting too wordy here, just let me say that if you are a smart, literate person you will not be disappointed.