Advertising and Selling Dreams

in 15th Ljubljana International Film Festival

by Marco Lombardi

Czech people don’t know what Europe really is, but someone told them that it will make them richer, and that’s enough to decide to join it. So, Europe is like a product in an advertising spot: the important thing is that you desire it, it doesn’t matter if it exists or not, if it’s good or bad. This is the conclusion of Czech Dreams, the interesting long feature film made by two young Czech directors, Vit Klusak (24) and Filip Remunda (31).

The film describes the realization of a ‘crazy’ project: to commission an advertising campaign with an established advertising agency for the opening of a fictitious hypermarket called ‘Czech Dreams’, knowing that the hypermarket won’t ever be created except one big facade in the middle of the country. The films tests people’s reactions from the beginning to the end, when they realize that ‘Czech Dreams’ doesn’t exist. The conclusions are interesting: people can believe everything they get from television, radio, brochures, posters, newspapers, magazines and the Internet. They go to the place where the hypermarket will be constructed just to understand, before the opening, what’s going on. The most interesting part of the film, anyway, are the interviews Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda made during the inauguration day, when everybody realized someone had pulled their legs. A lot of people, in fact, defended their own ¨dreams¨, not getting angry, and saying that – may be – they’ll really open ?Czech dreams?, some day (one person actually thanked the organisation for having obliged him to go out and enjoy a sunny day in the country!). There were also furious people, of course, because they made fools of themselves (the film was financed by the Czech Minister of Culture). But some of them laughed at themselves, saying that people are stupid and deserve such a ¨punishment¨.

Czech Dreams is a very good documentary that describes reality as fiction, showing us how everyday life is so foolish as to be surreal. itself. Most of all, the film has a very strong idea that Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda treat in a logical way, thanks to rigorous editing that is also able to create a social suspence. Czech Dreams , in conclusion, is a film that puts some important questions on the table about modern society without having an ideological answer, and without being pretentious.

Marco Lombardi