Muay Thai goes to the Theatre
The annual New Zealand International Film Festival has came around for another month of amazing independent films, but this year there will be a screening of Muay Thai.
Directed by French filmmaker Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, A Prayer Before Dawn premiered at Cannes (Midnight Screenings) in May and screens in Auckland and Wellington at the New Zealand International Film Festival this July and August.
A former drug addict and career criminal, Liverpool-born Billy Moore was also a boxing hopeful who found a new life in Thailand before relapsing and being locked up in Klong Prem prison. Based on his memoir of serving time in the notorious ' Bangkok Hilton' , A Prayer Before Dawn is a quintessential prison movie in the tradition of Midnight Express, A Prophet and Starred Up, plunging viewers headfirst into the nightmare of life behind bars. But the film is also an exhilarating action spectacle that measures up to the best South East Asian martial arts movies, including Ong-Bak and The Raid.
Played by British actor Joe Cole, Moore' s road to redemption – and also means of communication in an unforgiving environment where he doesn't speak the language – is through his talent for fist-fighting, and the film captures his brutal and sometimes poignant recovery in hard-hitting and ultra-realistic Muay Thai prison boxing tournaments. Moore, who helped train actor Cole in Muay Thai combat, published A Prayer Before Dawn: A Nightmare in Thailand in 2014, and the book was quickly optioned for a big screen adaptation.
July 23rd Event Cinemas Queen Street, Auckland
July 24th Event Cinemas Queen Street, Auckland
July 25th Civic Theatre, Auckland
July 31st Embassy Theatre, Wellington
August 2nd Paramount Cinemas, Wellington
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster for Auckland screening and on sale on the NZIFF website for Wellington Screening.