Vít Klusák - Ceský sen aka Czech Dream (2004)

Czech Dream is a documentary about a grand scale practical joke played on the Czech people by two student film makers. They pretend to be home-grown entrepreneurs opening a new discount hypermarket, named "Cesky Sen", and they launch a slick advertising campaign (funded in the main by the Czech Ministry of Culture) to advertise this non-existent retail outlet. Posters, flyers, jingles and TV ads all lure several thousand people to a meadow for the opening of the hypermarket. Needless to say, some people weren't best pleased when they found out that the front of the building was just a large billboard with nothing behind it except grass. The film goes behind the scenes of the advertising campaign and the opening of the shopping centre and presents itself on one level as a critique of consumerism, but on another as a satire of the Czech government's desire to persuade it's citizens to join the E.U. (the prospect of which the film makers clearly are not enamoured with). The film makers sneer at the "sheep" who walk through a field to find that their aspirations of emulating a Western European consumerist lifestyle are, both symbolically and literally, flawed. However their point was made at the expense of making fools out of several thousand people, many of whom were elderly, poor and handicapped. An interesting and unusual film which exposes the power of advertising and mocks consumer capitalism.

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