Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus with this lively, wide-ranging documentary exploring the history, present and future of the utopian design and architecture school and communal social movement around the world.
What does a Latin American favela have to do with an old workers’ settlement in Dessau? What is the connection between a Jewish socialist in a rural commune and the children in a school class in Stockholm? All of these stories concern visions and the practical attempts to make them come true.
A radical artistic utopia, which is still having an impact on the world we live in today, was born in a tranquil town in Germany. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, Bauhaus was supposed to unite sculpture, painting, design and architecture into a single combined constructive discipline. It is a synthesis of liberated imagination and stringent structure; cross-medial concepts that embellish and enrich our existence, illumination and clarity, order and playfulness. Bauhaus constituted one of the most significant contributions to everyday 20th-century culture and influential contemporary designs, from Apple to the avant-garde of sustainable and future-oriented architecture, still refer to it today. But Bauhaus was never just an artistic experiment. Confronted with the social conditions of that particular time, as well as the experience of the First World War, the movement concerned itself with the political and social connotations of design from the very outset. Hence, Bauhaus history is not just the history of art, but also the history of an era that stretches from the early 20th century to the modern day.
The film describes the fascinating story of the Bauhaus as the statement, the failure and the renewal of a social utopia. And it tells of artists, scientists and architects today, who, in their examinations of current challenges also relate to the Bauhaus. That way, the story of this unfinished utopian project with its manifold exciting cross-references unfolds before our eyes while always keeping in touch with the questions still topical today: How do we want to live, where do we want to go?
"At its heart, 'Bauhaus Spirit' proves without question that fun was a core component of the goings-on. We long to have played a part in its birth, existence and influence - or to even contribute now." - Alex De Vore, Santa Fe Reporter
"A comprehensive look at the subject." - Kathleen Sachs, Chicago Reader
"A trip through a century of cultural and societal change." - Sabina Dana Plasse, Blue Door Magazine
"On the occasion of the Bauhaus centennial, the film traces the history of the school from its Weimar era beginnings through its continued impact in architecture, design and sustainable living today. Celebrating the search for connections between architecture, design and society, this is a film about fantasy, utopia and thinking big.” - Jens Balkenborg, EPD Film Magazine
"Makes plain how the vision of the Bauhaus artists still drives cross-disciplinary creative ventures today. 'Bauhaus Spirit''s most profound takeaway is that, while the school was ostensibly about constructing a world... it was always really about the best way to live." - Michael Abetemarco, Santa Fe New Mexican
“One hundred years ago, a radical artistic utopia was born: Bauhaus, one of our century's most influential architectural schools, still sets the pattern for the way we live. The synthesis of free imagination and strict structure, enrichment and simplification, light and clarity transformed Bauhaus to a significant contribution to our lives on a cosmopolitan scale.” - International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Best Documetnary, Montreal Festival of Films on Art
First Prize, MIASTOmovie Film Festival
Official Selection, Newport Beach Film Festival
Official Selection, Stuttgart House of Documentary Films
Official Selection, Copenhagen Architecture Festival
Actors: Torsten Blume, Rosan Bosch, Christian Mio Loclair
Directors: Niels Bolbrinker, Thomas Tielsch
Region: USA / Canada
Number of discs: 1
Released without age restriction
Studio: Icarus Films
Run Time: 90 minutes