Film poster for "The New Bauhaus" with black handprint and city skyline.
Film poster for "The New Bauhaus" with black handprint and city skyline.
An odyssey through the life and legacy of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the innovative artist and educator whose pioneering approach to integrating technology into design continues to influence and inspire.


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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online

Art History • Archival • U.S. History • Biographies • Art Education • European History • Architecture & Design • Leadership

Date of Completion: 2019 | Run Time: 89 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes (Subtitles) | Includes: Transcript Director: Alysa Nahmias | Producers: Alysa Nahmias, Petter Ringbom & Erin Wright Writers: Alysa Nahmias & Miranda Yousef

THE NEW BAUHAUS is an odyssey through the life and legacy of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the innovative artist and educator whose pioneering approach to integrating technology into design continues to influence and inspire. The school Moholy founded in Chicago, The New Bauhaus, evolved from its origins at the German Bauhaus into an extraordinary flowering of interdisciplinary design pedagogy premised on the notion that “the whole field of contemporary architecture and design must be based upon an indivisible unification of formerly separated and independent fields.” Following recent retrospectives of Moholy’s work at major museums, this film offers a more accessible and intimate, emotional journey through Moholy’s life and his work as an artist, designer, visionary, and teacher.

Educational Media Reviews Online | Johnnie N. Gray, Technology Services Librarian, Christopher Newport University
Highly Recommended
"The New Bauhaus is a well-done tribute to its founder, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Excellent production and writing make this a worthy film for use in any art history course or for those interested in modern art. Interviews with relatives and students of Moholy-Nagy frame the story of his life and his contribution to German and American art and design. Firsthand interviews from students taught at the New Bauhaus fondly remember assignments and show pictures of what they were told to work on. The philosophy to unlearn and relearn design took many of his students by surprise as Moholy-Nagy encouraged students to look with the eyes of a child. The underlying philosophy regarding art and design was for that of social betterment. Not only is the breadth of artwork from Moholy-Nagy shown from galleries and archives (but that of his students is shown alongside his) where the influence of his role as teacher shines.

"It provides essential and interesting insight into Bauhaus as a movement and the approach to teaching. Very much a tribute to Moholy-Nagy, the viewer is left with the evidence that he was a visionary and very much ahead of his time. Easily utilized in the classroom in high school and at college level due to the story and visuals."

"In this stylish program, extensive interviews with former students, Moholy’s family, and art historians and dramatically read excerpts from the artist’s writings are paired with period stills and footage to trace his career ... Art enthusiasts will enjoy this tribute to the artist and his lasting influences on the modern movement."

Forbes | Travis Bean
"THE NEW BAUHAUS details the original school’s transformation into the IIT Institute of Design, which today hosts some of the top design students in the country. The film seamlessly weaves together Moholy-Nagy’s evolving artistic development and personal history with the institute’s fraught financial hiccups with the expanding Chicago landscape. In effect, THE NEW BAUHAUS becomes a film about pushing yourself to see past what is normal and discover the beauty of the space and architecture that surrounds us. Much like many filmmakers do with cities in fictional narrative form, THE NEW BAUHAUS director Alysa Nahmias allows Chicago to become a living, breathing entity that pulsates with Moholy-Nagy’s romantic outlook on the world in documentary form. By the end of the movie, you won’t just admire Moholy-Nagy—you’ll want to be just like him."

Chicago Sun Times | Bill Stamets
"Alysa Nahmias designs an aptly stylish documentary on the life, ideas and impact of Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy, who taught design in Chicago."

812FilmReviews | Robert Daniels
"[H]is name today is rarely tossed around as reverently as say Picasso or Monet. Instead, his story remains an unique and partly exposed gem of Chicago. And while his legacy extends to his students becoming exceptional teachers and creators in their own right, spreading the word and style of the New Bauhaus to newer generations in varying cities and countries, he mostly remains a ballyhooed figure known for his reach more than expansive work. Nevertheless, by Nahmias so wonderfully linking the two together: the man and the work—viewers can only hope but aspire to the creed by which Moholy-Nagy lived his life. And if you’re like me, and am fascinated by watching how highly successful figures approach their craft, if their fervent belief in their life’s vision inspires you as it does me, then The New Bauhaus can only spur you to reinvent yourself with the same dexterity used by Moholy-Nagy himself."

New York Times | Jane Margolies
"Today, when newcomers to America are often regarded as suspect, Petter Ringbom and Marquise Stillwell of Opendox, the film’s production company, seek to highlight Moholy-Nagy‘s contributions as an immigrant. He never gained the recognition of Bauhaus leaders like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but Moholy-Nagy kept alive “the idea of unifying different disciplines,” said Mr. Ringbom, also the film’s cinematographer."

Alysa Nahmias is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Los Angeles-based production company Ajna Films. Alysa has been producing and directing documentaries for over fifteen years since embarking on her debut feature Unfinished Spaces, co-directed with Benjamin Murray, which won a 2012 Independent Spirit Award, the Society of Architectural Historians Film and Video Award, numerous festival prizes, was broadcast on Netflix and PBS, and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Alysa's recent directing credits also include THE NEW BAUHAUS (2019) and the forthcoming documentary Krimes. As a creative producer, Alysa produced the Emmy-nominated and Academy Award-shortlisted Unrest (2017) directed by Jennifer Brea, which won a Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed on Netflix and PBS. Her producing credits also include the Los Angeles Film Festival award-winning scripted feature No Light and No Land Anywhere (2016) by director Amber Sealey with executive producer Miranda July; What We Left Unfinished directed by Mariam Ghani which premiered at the Berlinale and SFFILM (2019); Weed & Wine (2020) directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen; and Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq directed by Nancy Buirski with creative advisor Martin Scorsese (2013). As a consulting producer, Nahmias frequently advises on films such as Academy Award-nominated director Jennifer Redfearn's Tocando La Luz (2015), Hao Wu's People's Republic of Desire, and Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake’s Weed the People (2018). Alysa’s work has been shown at festivals and exhibitions worldwide, including Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW, CPH:DOX, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and has been released theatrically in the US and UK, exhibited at MoMA and the Venice Biennale, and broadcast on Netflix, PBS, and HBO. Alysa is a 2020 Film Independent Fellow, a 2019 Sundance Momentum Fellow, a Sundance Catalyst Forum advisor, and a co-author of the groundbreaking Sundance Creative Distribution Case Study on Unrest. She co-founded FWD-Doc as an ally who is committed to advocating for disability rights and inclusion, and she is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Alysa holds a B.A. from New York University Gallatin School and a Masters degree from Princeton University.