HBO’s Terror in Mumbai and PBS’ Mumbai Massacre docs use audio, interviews from terrorists, victims

One year ago on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, 173 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in Mumbai as a result of 10 simultaneous terrorist attacks. Two documentaries debuting on TV in the next week examine those events from the perspective of both the terrorists and the victims.

Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, HBO debuts Dan Reed’s film Terror in Mumbai, which the network calls “a 360-degree view of a terrorist act, recounting in harrowing detail the bloody events of that 60-hour period.” It’s an updated version of the documentary that debuted this summer on Channel 4 in the UK. Narrated by CNN and Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria, it includes “exclusive audio tapes of the intercepted phone calls between the young gunmen and their controllers in Pakistan, and testimony from the sole surviving gunman,” according to HBO.

Here’s a (brief) preview:

Next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on PBS, Secrets of the Dead: Mumbai Massacre tells the story from the victims’ perspectives, including “first-hand survivor accounts, closed-circuit footage of the chaos from within the hotels and actual words spoken by both victims and terrorists,” according to PBS. Th documentary is narrated by Liev Schreiber, and executive producer Jared Lipworth says on PBS’ web site, “This film offers an unprecedented, inside view into the attacks. It not only reveals how the victims and terrorists acted during the massacre, it highlights how consumer technologies and social media gave the victims a chance to survive, while also putting them directly into the line-of-fire of the terrorists who were hunting them down.”

Here’s an (also brief) preview:

Terror in Mumbai [HBO]
Secrets of the Dead: Mumbai Massacre [PBS]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.