Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda can thank their lucky stars that at the same time that they were making their documentary about the power of advertising, the government of the Czech republic decided to spend 200 million crowns (about $8.4 million) on pro-European Union commercials. If not for the added political dimension, might have come off as nothing more than a massive, awesome, awful practical joke:as a final project at the FAMU Film Academy in Prague, Vít and Filip documented the engineering of a campaign to promote the opening of a store that didn't actually exist. When hordes of eager shoppers turn up on the advertised day in the advertised location, all they find is a fake front wall, set up like an old-west facade in an empty meadow.
Nothing can compare with the images of hundreds of would-be shoppers racing through a field towards what they think is a shiny new Wal-Martish mall, and their shocked reaction as they approach the facade and realize what has been done. Some folks laugh, others get wildly pissed (in the Q & A after the screening, the filmmakers said that they would've been beaten up if they hadn't hired military police to act as bodyguards), but the real substance of the film is in its behind-the-scenes look at an aggressive advertising culture, as well as how the stunt plays out in the press afterwards, even as the Czech government hires the same ad agency to promote EU membership.Czech Dream