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3.5
130 Ratings

A Prayer Before Dawn

Une Prière Avant L'aube

France, United Kingdom, 2017
Action, Drama, Biography

Synopsis

Based on the true life experience of Billy Moore who survived his Thai prison ordeal by becoming a Muay Thai boxing champion.

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A Prayer Before Dawn Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
The definition of an immersive experience, “A Prayer Before Dawn” is a survival story whittled to sweat and sinews. The film’s “Midnight Express”-style abominations aren’t new; what’s different is its director’s impressionistic eye and instinctual connection to his subject’s tribulations. Mr. Sauvaire’s approach may not be for everyone, but his skill and audacity are invigorating — and, strangely, liberating.
August 09, 2018
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Unafraid of the appalling filth and violence of the film’s setting, director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire uses tight framing and a eye for the festering detail of the Thai prison that Yorkshire lad Billy ends up in. While it’s not for the faint-hearted – it features prison rape, sewed-on ears and heroin hidden in all the expected body cavities – it’s a deeply intelligent film about the pitfalls of violent masculinity.
October 27, 2017
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Only when Billy devotes himself fully to perfecting his sporting prowess as a boxer and gives up drugs at last after several relapses does his life start to improve. It’s a classic boxing movie trajectory, but Sauvaire gets extra brownie points for the austere way he tells this oft-told story. Cole’s searing intensity and total commitment to the physical demands of the role is integral to the film’s effectiveness.
May 19, 2017
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