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People moving towards a fake hypermarket
|Directed by||Vít Klusák|
|Produced by||Česká televize|
|Written by||Vít Klusák|
|Music by||Varhan Orchestrovič Bauer|
|Edited by||Zdeněk Marek|
|Budget||19 million CZK |
Czech Dream (Czech: Český sen) is a 2004 documentary film directed by two Czech film directors, Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda. It recorded a large-scale hoax perpetrated by Klusák and Remunda on the Czech public, culminating in the opening event of a fake hypermarket in the Letňany neighborhood of Prague. The film was their graduation project for film school.
Remunda and Klusák invented the Český sen ("Czech dream") hypermarket and created a massive advertising campaign around it. Posing as businessmen, the two film students managed to persuade an ad agency and a public relations agency to create a campaign for them. Billboards appeared on Czech highways, and 200,000 pamphlets were distributed in Prague. A jingle was recorded, and there was a series of television commercials. The advertising campaign slogans were "don't come" and "don't spend", etc.
Still, the filmmakers succeeded in attracting more than 3000 shoppers to an empty plain for their "grand opening" on May 31, 2003. What looked like a huge building from a distance was actually only a canvas facade backed by scaffolding.
As customers gathered, trinkets and small gifts were available—key chains and flags—so that everyone would leave with something. A master of ceremonies kept up a commentary as people gathered and finally asked Klusák and Remunda, the "managers", to cut a ribbon. After this, the barricades were removed, and people could walk or run towards the facade.
When the "customers" finally realised that they had been deceived, they reacted in different ways. Some understood the filmmakers' message, some tried to take it optimistically ("At least we had some fresh air"), but most were angry, and many decided to blame the government. Still, there was no violence against the authors.
The idea for the hoax came from a 2002 study by Incoma Research reporting that 30% of Czechs shop mainly at hypermarkets. There has been growing concern in the country about the growth of advertising and consumerism.
On September 8, 2006, it was broadcast by ARTE, and on September 26, 2006, by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service TV. On January 30, 2007, it was broadcast by the VPRO, and on October 9, 2007, by More 4. It was also broadcast by TVR Cultural on January 20, 2009, and Link TV in the USA on June 2, 2011.