‘Dying to Tell’, Hernán Zin’s tribute to  frontline reporters

Hernán Zin, director

10/25/2018.- This Wednesday, fest section DOC. España screened in competition the documentary feature Morir para contar (Dying to Tell), the latest work by war correspondent, writer and filmmaker Hernán Zin, where he delves deep into the wars in  Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq or Afghanistan from the perspective of men and women reporters who try to reconcile both experiences: home life and work.

«At night, all these memories haunt me. It is then that you are most vulnerable. I was afraid of falling asleep, I was always in distress», explained Zin. In 2012 he was forced to quit his job after suffering a panic attack in Afghanistan as a result of his overwhelming depression and stress.

The documentary, he explained, became some form of self-therapy, insofar as he saw his own experience reflected in his colleagues testimonies: professionals like  Gervasio Sánchez, Javier Espinosa, Mónica G. Prieto, Ramón Lobo, Manu Brabo, Roberto Fraile, Maysun, David Beriain, Carlos Hernández, Antonio Pampliega, Mónica Bernabé or Javier Bauluz. Together they lay bare their feelings in front of the camera and put together a documentary narrative that summarises the last 40 years of history.

Photo-journalist  Maysun accompanied Hernán Zin during the film’s presentation at Cines Broadway, where she claimed that «being a woman is always difficult, no matter which society you live in. For many years I have been treated with a lot of neo-paternalism in the Middle East’s patriarchal societies. This helped me reverse the situation and make my own choices at all times. Men did not take me seriously, they did not see me as a threat. They always looked after me and I used that opportunity to get a rare glimpse of life there in order to do my job», she pointed out.

The film’s director has tried to showcase the war correspondents’ passion for their work and their love of journalism, but also the profession’s tough and bitter downside: one that the film also captures in a number of confessions and stories about kidnappings, murders and emotional trauma . «I have made this film so that young journalists watch it and become aware of what they have to face up to», concluded Hernán Zin.

Posted in 63rd Edition, DOC Spain.