That film was Samsara, an extraordinarily visual documentary crammed with evocative images, eery sequences and arresting ideas. It's a documentary with no dialogue whatsoever. Instead, music links individual scenes from around the world which show everything from religous worship to factory assembly lines to massed martial arts demonstrations. Shot on 70mm film over a period of five years, it's a striking and thought-provoking piece which could have dozens of applications for educationalists.
There's plenty here for teachers of other subjects too: Geography, RE and Citizenship could all draw heavily on passages and scenes of natural phemonena, the nature of devotion and numerous moral issues. Each scene is only a few minutes long too - there's no need to lose half a lesson to showing a clip.
Of course, it'll be a while before Shantaram appears on DVD, but the moment it does i'll be buying a copy. The value of the moving image is huge and it's rarely been captured so beautifully or powerfully. And it beats jerkily buffered YouTube clips any day.
Blogger won't let me embed the trailer here for some reason, so click HERE to go somewhere else and watch it instead!