When English boxer and drug addict Billy Moore ends up in a notorious prison in Thailand, he has to fight not only for his life, but also against his inner demons. He finds an outlet for this by taking part in Muay Thai boxing tournaments. Based on Billy Moore’s bestselling memoires of the same title and filmed on location in Thailand’s Nakhon Pathom prison, A Prayer before Dawn is an extremely disquieting prison boxing drama.
That life in prison is no bed of roses has frequently been shown in films before. Nevertheless, the horrors uncompromisingly shown by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire really hit home. In the midst of all this extreme prison violence, Billy starts a romance with a lady boy and in boxing finds a way to survive. A Prayer before Dawn excels particularly in its tautly choreographed fight scenes and the cinematography of violent beauty – its focus on the physical allows us to feel every blow.