When Billy Moore first moved to Thailand, he did so with dreams of finding a better life, following a youth spent on the wrong side of the law, battling drug addiction.
But despite starting out teaching English in the Southeast Asian country, Moore soon found himself drawn into the underground world of fighting and drugs.
It didn’t take long for Moore’s world to come crashing down around him. Arrested for handling a stolen mobile, Moore was sent to Thailand’s notorious Klong Prem prison on a three-year stretch.
Overcrowded, filthy and steeped in violence, rape and murder was a near-daily occurrence in the “Bangkok Hilton” where the overcrowded cells serve as a breeding ground for HIV, TB, dengue fever and hepatitis.
The putrid, inhumane conditions made Moore’s three-years a virtual death sentence. But Moor fought to survive and soon found redemption in the Muay Thai boxing tournaments that took place within those walls.
It was an experience that inspired him to write his unflinching international best-selling memoir A Prayer Before Dawn which provided the basis for Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s strikingly visceral film adaptation.
Starring Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror star Joe Cole in the role of Moore, A Prayer Before Dawn is a stark, unflinching portrayal of one man’s astonishing journey through the deepest, darkest depths of humanity.
A boxing drama in the truest sense, it’s also a story of hope, survival and ultimately redemption. It’s a film anchored by Cole who puts his body on the line in physically ferocious performance as Moore, a man at-turns violently aggressive and hauntingly vulnerable.
Sauvaire handles the boxing action with aplomb, while the film’s striking cinematography creatives an immersive and strikingly bleak setting full of fascinating characters that add to a feeling of authenticity.
It’s a film that has already garnered rave reviews online, with a 100% record on Rotten Tomatoes and one that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Destined to go down as one of the best films of 2018, A Prayer Before Dawn arrives on July 20.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.