Czech Dream: Globalization Gets Punk’d!

Hey, Prague—you got punk'd! In this subversive Central European slice of reality TV, Czech film students Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda protest the kudzu creep of globalization with a stunt worthy of the Yes Men. As "hypermarkets" (i.e., homegrown Wal-Marts) invade the Czech Republic, the directors commission a massive ad campaign for an everything store called "The Czech Dream." Thousands show up for the grand opening, expecting implausibly huge discounts on everyday staples—only to get a rude surprise, one that gives the emptiness of "The Czech Dream" a whole new meaning. The filmmakers sometimes come off as smug jerks, but that doesn't mean they're wrong about the insidious impact of chain colonization. If their outrage about the evils of advertising seems ho-hum, no wonder: To Americans, shilling is like air.

 
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