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Touristic Intents

Architecture, mass tourism and political ideology come together in Touristic Intents, a new documentary that investigates the never-completed Nazi resort of Prora on Germany's Baltic Sea – a mammoth project started in 1936 by the Nazis to house 20,000 vacationing workers.

This 3-mile-long building was used in Nazi propaganda as a promise of leisure time for the masses and to strengthen sympathies between the workers and the Nazi party. Never finished because of WW2, the East German government continued construction in the 1950s, using it for military training as well as housing for conscientious objectors pressed into labor by the GDR regime.

After decades of abandonment, the massive edifice is now being redeveloped into apartments, condominiums, hotels, and a youth hostel. Grappling with notions of place and identity in an era when the role of national monuments has become a defining issue for the selective maintenance of cultural memory, the resort of Prora stands as a lasting reminder of how buildings become vehicles for political ideology and myth-making throughout their lives. The film asks: Is there an obligation to remember a building's dark past?