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. 

Filmmaker
Jean-Stephane Sauvaire
Country
France, United Kingdom, USA, China
Year
2017
Medium
DCP
Length
116’
Language
English, Thai
Producer
Rita Dagher, Roy Boulter, Sol Papadopoulos, James Schamus, Jennifer Dong
Production Company
Senorita Films, Hurricane Films, Symbolic Exchange , Meridian Entertainment
Sales
HanWay Films
Writer
Johnny Hirshbein, Nick Saltrese
Cinematography
David Ungaro
Editor
Marc Boucrot
Production Design
Lek Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat
Music
Nicolas Becker
Cast
Joe Cole, Pornchanok Mabklang, Somluck Kamsing, Komsan Polsan, Sura Srimalai, Vithaya Pansringarm, Panya Yimmumphai