Ceský sen (Czech dream) (2004) Vít Klusák & Filip Remunda

Ceský sen (Czech dream) (2004)

Genre: Documentary | Comedy
Director: Vít Klusák & Filip Remunda
Country: Czech Republic
Language: Czech
Subtitles: English (.srt file)
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.77:1
Length: 86mn
File: Dvdrip Divx Avi - 512x288 - 25fps - 698mb

Two students from the Czech Film Academy commission a leading advertising agency to organize a huge campaign for the opening of a new supermarket named Czech Dream. The supermarket however does not exist and is not meant to. The advertising campaign includes radio and television ads, posters, flyers with photos of fake Czech Dream products, a promotional song, an internet site, and ads in newspapers and magazines. Will people believe in it and show up for the grand opening?

Everyone with any opinion about advertising (which, in this hyper-mediated world, is pretty much anyone) has at LEAST a half-aware understanding of the ability of advertising to affect their lives. Czech Dream is a movie about just that, as two student filmmakers design an ad campaign for a product that doesn't even exist, a hypermarket (which is, from what I saw in the movie, sort of a mix between a wholesale market and a supermarket) that advertises its opening day by saying such things as, "Don't come!" and "Don't spend!" Two thousand people arrive anyway.

This documentary is most effective in its complete simplicity. The filmmakers and crew take no time trying to hide their judgment or view from the movie--you can even see the mics, lighting set ups, other cameramen, and so on--because the idea here is NOT to create a so-called objective documentary but to show much more directly and personally the power of advertising over people. This power is something everyone perceives, but not as many people really believe in, until something like this occurs and two thousand people are left on a field with nothing in it but a banner.

Czech Dream is full of wonderful details. Vit and Filip spend little time detailing the actual process, focusing more on the message that the ads are trying to create, and allows most of the film's time to settle on people's comments about it. The self-serving dialog of the advertisers ("Oh, I think this is a horrible thing, but we're professionals and so we'll do it. It's like a doctor who has to save a rapist" "I like being an advertiser, you know, I like going out with my friends and knowing that I am the one that moves the world" "Filmmakers lie, advertisers don't lie") is well foiled by the reactions of the crowd of people who actually arrived, whose opinions range from "Hey, I know what this is, this is two people trying to get us outside for once! Let's have a picnic!" to "I'm going to take you to court for this!" and who, amazingly, take very little time in connecting the event to its political meaning (one that the filmmakers didn't really intend).


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