Dying To Tell Review: Netflix Documentary Highlights The Most Noble Journalism

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 17, 2019
Dying to Tell (Morir para contar) Netflix Spanish Documentary


Dying to Tell (Morir para contar) is a sobering account of the work experienced by war reporters, as the Netflix documentary case studies their stories.

While watching Hernán Zin’s Netflix documentary Dying to Tell (Morir para contar) it suddenly dawned on me that the footage we see of explosions, heavy ammo and war-torn buildings are a product of some brave soul entering that area and recording that moment for the viewers warmly nestled at home. The Netflix documentary is not designed for the viewers to feel sorry for the war reporters. Dying to Tell is a chronicle of experiences told first-hand by these people, and their own personal toll.

In its 90 minutes, Dying to Tell examines the life of a war reporter, and goes full circle with a range of interviews and individual experiences. It tentatively discusses those journalists who were sadly victims of war reporting, leaving family members to grieve, and wondering if their work was worth the bigger picture. Other victims include those who were left traumatized by being captured, and how the institutionalized nature of their environments was dreadful and terrifying.

Dying to Tell does not encourage the audience to make their reality feel any more real. The Spanish documentary shows plenty of footage of their trodden paths with a useful narration to back up their experiences, but I sensed a harsh reality that as a world that is regularly exposed to this type of news, we are almost becoming desensitized to real horror. I felt genuinely sorry for the war reporter that cannot live in crowded cities anymore due to his crippling PTSD and fear of attack, or the wife that lost her husband in tragic circumstances. Dying to Tell is a case study more than a call-to-action; with news coverage evolving to a troubling unforeseen monster, we need more war reporters on the ground with their firm boots doing all they can to seek the truth.

Netflix documentary Dying to Tell (Morir para contar) is carefully put together, intended to demonstrate the job of a war reporter, and it does well not to go beyond that message.

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