"India's history is a ten thousand year epic but for over two millennia, India has been at the center of world history."
The Story of India is a new six hour documentary from PBS and the BBC. It purports to trace the history of modern India from 70,000 BCE to 2007. When I first read this, I thought the goal was too ambitious, and figured the show might not even be worth watching.
But... I was very much mistaken. This PBS and BBC joint production, narrated by Michael Wood, is the first TV or film production I've found that captures the feel of India. I've watched the first four instalments, and have certainly learned a great deal; but more importantly, I've been transfixed by the beauty and intelligence of this documentary.
And the good news is that you can still (in the US anyway) see it on TV for free, on PBS.
If that doesn't work for you, or if your DVR is all filled up with footage of the US presidential inauguration, then you can buy the movie on DVD here.
I won't even try to summarize the content of the first four installments of this six-hour film, but I will say that the photo slide-show here really captures the feel of the film, and the film really captures the color and energy of modern India.
Take a look through the PBS site, and if it looks compelling to you, do try to watch this movie. You won't be disappointed!