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Margaret Moth was a photojournalist who is best known for being employed by CNN. Furthermore, New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless recently made her directorial debut, with a documentary titled, Never Look Away. This project showcased the life and career of the aforementioned gutsy camerawoman.
Reports suggest that Lucy Lawless decided to create this documentary after receiving an email from Joe Duran. Duran is a CNN cameraman who was a good friend of the late Margaret Moth. In a conversation with Variety, Lawless explained how the process of making Never Look Away began. She stated, “I received an email from [CNN cameraman] Joe Duran saying, ‘Would you want to make a movie about my best friend Margaret?’ It took about 90 seconds for me to say ‘Yes!”
Margaret Moth was born on January 30, 1951, and passed away on March 21, 2010, three years after doctors diagnosed her with colon cancer. She was born in Gisborne, New Zealand.
According to IMDb, the synopsis of Never Look Away reads, “Swashbuckling CNN combat camerawoman, Margaret Moth, risks it all to put the viewer inside the conflict. When a fateful injury gets in the way of her appetite for danger and adrenaline, Moth must find the strength to carry on.”
The producers and co-writers of this documentary are Matthew Metcalfe, Tom Blackwell, and Lawless. Furthermore, the New Zealand Film Commission, Ingenious Media, GFC Films, AM Media, Images & Sound, and the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Rebate funded and supported it.
Never Look Away: Why did Margaret Moth change her name?
According to CNN, Margaret Moth was born as Margaret Wilson. However, her admiration for parachuting and Tiger Moth airplanes made her change her name. Reports also suggest that she received her first camera at the age of 8. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a swimming pool maker.
According to Variety, Lucy Lawless had no direct connection with the legendary photojournalist. However, she recalled an incident from the 1990s where she was seriously injured. Lawless said, “She was Australasia’s first female cameraman, a trailblazer, and a shocking iconoclast without even trying.”
She further stated, “She refused to participate in anything one might call ‘normal’ and became the ringleader of this group of misfits and thrill seekers, the queen of the night. Eventually, she got a job at CNN and went off to war, which changed the trajectory of her life massively.”
New Zealand Film Commission’s official website states that Lawless stated that Margaret Moth was massively inspirational. Her statement said, “It’s a rollercoaster ride – she’s no angel but her life story makes you feel that you too can go out and move mountains with whatever tools you have right now. She’s hugely inspirational.”
1992, she was shot in the face in Sarajevo, reports CNN. She got multiple reconstructive surgeries as well as hepatitis C from a consequent blood transfusion. However, this did not break her spirit. In one of her final interviews, she sarcastically stated that instead of cancer, she wanted to die with a bit more flair.
She stated, “Dying of cancer, I would have liked to think I’d have gone out with a bit more flair. The important thing is to know that you’ve lived your life to the fullest. I don’t know anyone who’s enjoyed life more. You could be a billionaire, and you couldn’t pay to do the things we’ve done.”
Moth initially worked for KHOU in Houston, Texas. However, after seven years, she began working for CNN in 1990.