Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Czech Dream (Ceský Sen) (2005)
12aContains infrequent strong language

Coming soon: an all-new Prague hypermarket. The prices are unbeatable and so is the ultra-slick ad campaign, which even includes an anthem sung by a choir of 50 schoolchildren. Just one catch, though: the superstore in question doesn't actually exist... That's the pitch for Czech Dream, a diverting documentary by two film students that plays like Jackass directed by Lars Von Trier. We're talking pranksterism with a political purpose, as the filmmakers use their ruse to take a timely dig at mass manipulation.

One of the highpoints comes early, as our grungy hosts (Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda) are made-over into sharp-suited corporate hucksters, ready to sell ice to the Eskimos. Amusing stuff, but it's swiftly apparent that the duo don't share the on-camera charisma of a Michael Moore or a Morgan Spurlock. What's really bothersome, though, are the mocking vox pops with everyday shoppers. More comfortable are the chuckles at the expense of the image salesmen we meet, who risibly insist that their work never lies.

"THE RANGE OF REACTIONS FACINATE"

Mind you, as a target for satire, advertising is one of the easiest going. So it's only when we get to the main event - the grand non-opening - that the films finds true force and focus. As thousands of Czechs realise there's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow branding, the range of reactions fascinates (some rant, others philosophise). What's more, the aftermath plays up a piquant parallel with the country's then-pending vote on EU membership. Now that's what you call a big deal.

In Czech with English subtitles.

End Credits

Director: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda

Writer: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda

Stars: Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda

Genre: Documentary, World Cinema

Length: 90 minutes

Cinema: 24 June 2005

Country: Czech Republic

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