SxSW unoficially “opened” with the documentary NEVER LOOK AWAY, which screened hours before the opening night movie ROAD HOUSE! This was quite unusual for the festival which usually doesn’t start screenings until later in the evening, but it was great for us to get a movie in before the Headliners! We joined Lawless as well for a Q&A at the lovely Stateside Theatre next to the Paramount.

Lucy Lawless at SxSW 2024!
Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies

Antonio’s Reaction: NEVER LOOK AWAY is the directorial debut of Lucy Lawless. The documentary is a fascinating look at the life of Camera Journalist Margaret Moth. A journalist from New Zealand that moved to Houston, Texas to pursue a career in the news business. She lives like a magical Gypsy. Even though she was not a saint. War is her favorite subject.

Margaret Moth loves to cover war and conflicts from around the world. She covered everything from the Persian Gulf War to the Iraq War. Her profession is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. Every year we lose many journalists covering a war conflict and she could not wait to get to the next conflict. She never showed any fear to her colleagues while in the war zone. Had an amazing talent in finding the perfect war images. At the same time, she found the time to relax by finding a quiet spot to smoke a cigar. She mostly worked for CNN throughout her career, and you will recognize many of the CNN personalities interviews in this film.

I do have to warn you there are disturbing images in this documentary. Especially, the one in which Margaret was covering the war in Sarajevo. She was shot by a sniper, and it caused her to suffer a life-changing injury. And yet she did not let the injury frighten or prevent her from continuing covering war.

According to Lucy Lawless, during the 90s CNN used these large Super VHS tapes to record the news. They did not do proper archiving and much of the footage from Margaret is lost. They only managed to obtain a small amount of footage that took a pain staking effort to find. In the documentary they used this great-looking paper model to dramatize moments in Margaret’s life to make up for the lost footage.

The film is full of action and drama like a real-life version of THREE KINGS. I am not surprised that many big studios are interested in making a feature film version of her life. Where is Margaret now? Well, you will have to look at the documentary to find out. NEVER LOOK AWAY was one of my favourite documentaries at SXSW.

Leave a Reply