France / UK, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Night Shift)

Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire


'Midnight Express meets Ong-Bak, and that's a good thing… halfway between stylized arthouse exoticism and pulpy genre thrill ride, A Prayer Before Dawn is exactly the sort of film one would hope to see in a midnight slot at a festival.' – Hollywood Reporter

Liverpool native Billy Moore is a troubled young man. Broken home, crime, violence, drugs, jail. But his life tumbles to a new nadir when he's arrested in Bangkok and thrown into the notorious Klong Prem prison. Turning to Muay Thai to survive – and fuel a burgeoning heroin habit – Moore will witness the very worst that humanity has to offer, and it will take everything he has just to make it through.

French provocateur Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (Johnny Mad Dog, MIFF 2008) returns to the brutal underworlds of masculine violence in A Prayer Before Dawn, his arresting, no-holds-barred adaptation of Billy Moore's memoir of the same name. Driven by a powerhouse performance from rising star Joe Cole, A Prayer Before Dawn is a claustrophobic, face-pulping mash of growling sound, kinetic editing and so-real-you-have-to-flinch fight scenes. In other words: pure Night Shift.

'A ferocious boxing movie that fights dirty ... one of the most unrelentingly intense symphonies of testosterone and rage ever put onscreen.' – IndieWire

See also...


"Approaches the subject of zombies in a remarkably original way … Part I Am Legend and part All is Lost, The Night Eats the World is an endearing, tragic, and above all entertaining watch." – Film Inq... More »


A psychedelic trip into magic and madness. ... In 17th-century England, a group of deserters flees a raging battle through the English countryside. They are soon caught by a man who insists they help ... More »


“If John Cassavetes had ever made a sci-fi thriller, it probably would've looked and sounded a lot like this.” - Variety ... Six years ago a NASA space probe crashed to earth with a shipload of alien ... More »


“A sadistic art-house bloodbath.” - Hollywood Reporter ... A remake of William Lustig's notorious 1980 hit of the same name, this version of Maniac is adapted by screenwriter and producer (with Lustig... More »


The story of Robert, a murderous tyre with psychic powers. ... It's not often something comes along that is completely original in concept, but Rubber is definitely the one-and-only film about a kille... More »


Ben Wheatley follows up his deft debut Down Terrace (MIFF 2010) with a cross-genre gem that starts as a sedate suburban drama before driving off the rails completely. ... Jay is having a tough time - ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director