Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

A Prayer Before Dawn 2017

Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire Thrill

Joe Cole is sensational as British Muay Thai fighter Billy Moore in Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s visceral adaptation of his tale of survival in Thailand’s Klong Prem prison.

France / UK In English and Thai with English subtitles
116 minutes CinemaScope / DCP


Rita Dagher
Nicholas Simon
Roy Boulter
Sol Papadopoulos


Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
Nick Saltrese. Based on the memoir by Billy Moore


David Ungaro


Marc Boucrot

Production designer

Chaiyan Chunsuttiwat


Nicolas Becker


Joe Cole (Billy Moore)
Billy Moore (father)
Vithaya Pansringarm (Officer Preecha)
Pornchanok Mabklang (Fame)
Panya Yimmumphai (Keng)
Somluck Kamsing (Suthin)
Chaleomporn Sawatsuk (M)
Komsan Polsan (Patumsuk)
Sakda Niamhom (Saiyok)
Sura Srimalai (Chanachol)
Patsapon Kaysornmaleethanachok (Yieow Dang)


Cannes (Midnight Screenings) 2017

“At once exhausting and astonishing, this no-holds-barred adaptation of British junkie-turned-pugilist Billy Moore’s Thai prison memoir is a big, bleeding feat of extreme cinema, given elevating human dimension by rising star Joe Cole’s ferociously physical lead performance… A Prayer Before Dawn appropriately premiered at Cannes as a midnight screening – the right slot for a film that mixes down-and-dirty fight-night thrills with a kind of heightened sensory experimentalism, hypnotically fixated with bodies and motion. (It’s certainly not every film that calls to mind, by turns, such disparate reference points as Midnight Express, Only God Forgives and Jean-Claude Van Damme in Kickboxer.)

An international bestseller in 2014, Moore’s A Prayer Before Dawn: A Nightmare in Thailand is the kind of redemptive misery memoir that could easily have invited more lurid or mawkish mainstream film treatment. Moore (who appears briefly on screen as his own father) should be glad his book landed in the hands of Sauvaire, [a] filmmaker with a visceral understanding of bodily strain and its effect on the psyche.” — Guy Lodge, Variety