Czech Dream

New York Premiere

87 MINUTES | Czech |

CZECH DREAM

The tolerant spirit of the Czech people has to be celebrated-not just for their Velvet Revolution (oh ok, that too) but also for not manhandling the filmmakers of Czech Dream. In this long practical joke with a media literacy twist, the aspiring businessmen, doughy and film-schoolish, set out to construct an elaborate advertising campaign for an imaginary new supermarket. They start with turning themselves into dapper salesmen-a satirical transformation accomplished with some deft product placement. As they develop their slogans, posters, jingles and radio spots, we get an insider's tour of the Czech image-making industry. And we're also introduced to people still learning the professional skill of swallowing your ethics all in the dutiful name of advertising. The filmmakers' wry humor fuels the story as the hoax takes on super-marketing dimensions. Finally, the big day arrives, and thousands of Czech would-be shoppers, clutching their flyers and checking their shopping lists, show up in a vast parking lot. "This is how we're getting into the EU?" one man asks, 15 years after the fall of Communism. A winning combination of consumerism and commentary, this pure prankster perfection allows its audience to experience one of the greatest pleasures of viewing a documentary-wondering what the hell is going to happen next.