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Before the Dawn (2019)

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A young high school teacher moves to a new town for a fresh start and falls for a troubled student.


Jay Holben
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alana de Freitas ... Lila Kendy
Jared Scott ... Jason Walker
Houston Rhines ... Andrew Matthews
Kelly Hancock ... Shelly Walker
Carissa Dalton ... Shannen James
Juli Cuccia ... Mary Kendy
Gregory Gordon Gregory Gordon ... Thug
Raul Nava Raul Nava ... Thug
Byron James ... Thug
Joseph Covino ... John Walker
Juan Magana ... Jason's Friend
Matthias Chrans Matthias Chrans ... Jason's Friend
Benjamin Levy Aguilar ... Jason's Friend (as Benjamin Levy)
Norma Burgess Norma Burgess ... Principal Gibney
Alexa Reddy ... Penny Walker


A young high school teacher moves to a new town for a fresh start and falls for a troubled student.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

7 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before the Dawn See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ADF Productions See more »
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User Reviews

Deceptively Pot-Stirring
9 October 2019 | by TheAll-SeeingISee all my reviews

"Before The Dawn" explores the viewer-dependent interpretation of a school teacher's empathy-turned-attraction for her adolescent student.

Lila Kendy (Alana de Freitas) is Ms. Kendy to you, should you be seated in her Catholic school classroom. She's presented as a committed educator, but her very real loneliness paired with her compassion for the struggles of youth summons in her a deep attraction to troubled student Jason (Jared Scott); a lad with great cheekbones who manages to be no less protypically pretty and actor-attractive than de Frietas herself in that Johnny Depp-ish, "21 Jump Street"-era sort of way. Soon, the two are flirting. Soon, they're sexing. But this story isn't sold as either a purely physical after-class tryst, or as a straight condemnation of their union tailored for PTA moms to rally behind. Instead, it's presented unashamedly as true love felt between two isolated people coming together, which as we know also isn't how the evening news (and potentially the court system) filters this forbidden tale. Of course, there's a prerequisite third wheel in the film, too, as rejected teacher-incel hybrid Mr. Matthews (Houston Rhines) can't self-check his own twisted, visceral condemnation to his discovery of it all.

It will be fascinating to see how "Before The Dawn" is received by disparate film consumers -- will they, on the mere simplicity of principle, reject Lila's emotional and physical engagement of her student as deviant and immoral, and potentially straight-up illegal (we're shrewdly never provided with Jason's age)? Or will they validate it by conceding that love -- even when society considers it utterly forbidden -- has a way of happening anyway? And as a whole different hairball, how will they process Lila's strategic reaction to Mr. Matthews' insidious behaviors? "Before The Dawn" is sure to prove polarizaring in these various ways. It's a deceptively plain-faced but potentially incendiary telling of this inconvenient but not-uncommon social phenomenon, which is sure to lead to a divided room of viewers. That's certainly also the film's coy ambition, as "Before The Dawn" provides for some ripe and engrossing post-processing.

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