Prague, Czech Republic, 31 May, 2003
- its a few minutes before 10 a.m. and there are more than 3000 people jostling on a remote parking place. Many of them are clutching plastic bags in their hands; some of them are armed with trolley bags. Assistants are handing out plastic cups and the moderator on the illuminated stage urges the people to have a drink from the near-by water tankers. The "hyper-anthem" of CZECH DREAM
rings out once again from the speakers: "Try to see as a child, many things will seem wild..." Suddenly the managers of the hypermarket rush out on the stage, greet their customers and briskly cut the glittering ribbon. The escort remove the metal barriers and the crowd starts moving. They still have 300 metres to reach the hypermarket. People start running... A moment later, the fastest of them are struck dumb: the hypermarket that they have reached is nothing but a huge film decoration... Documentary hyper-comedy CZECH DREAM
is a feature film about a hypermarket that has never existed.
documents the largest consumer hoax the Czech Republic has ever seen. Filip Remunda and Vit Klusak, two of Eastern Europe's most promising young documentary filmmakers, set out to explore the psychological and manipulative powers of consumerism by creating an ad campaign for something that didn't exist.
CZECH DREAM - the Hypermarket for a better life!
The campaign (designed by a renowned advertising agency) involved television and radio spots, 400 illuminated billboards, 200,000 flyers promoting CZECH DREAM
brand products, an advertising song, a website, and advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
For two weeks, the streets of Prague were saturated with advertising for the fake hypermarket. The ads proclaimed: Don't Go, Don't Rush, Don't Spend
drawing over 4,000 people to turn up on the 'opening day'. On the 31 May 2003, they arrived at a green field where, instead of a hypermarket, they found just the dream hypermarket's façade (10m high and 100m wide).
is a funny and provocative look at the effects of rampant consumerism on a post-communist society. CZECH DREAM
has also caused some controversy, provoking extreme reactions in the Czech people and media and even being discussed in Czech Parliament.
With the recent entry of the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries to the EU, and, with people's changing attitudes to consumerism and globalisation, it is equally relevant to capitalist societies all over the world.