Night Before the Morning Sun was inspired by the 1952 Edward Hopper painting of a young woman sitting on a bed in a spare room facing a large window.

The film explores the experience of awakening as an allusion to transition.

Hopper is said to have kept in his wallet a short quotation from Goethe that began, "the beginning and end of all literary activity is the reproduction of the world that surrounds me by means of the world that is in me."

The trauma of passing from sleep to wakefulness – of reassembling oneself from the fragmented dreams and memories visited in the depths of night – has the power to reveal where Goethe's two worlds meet.

In the fleeting moments between states of consciousness, the film's protagonist pieces together a unifying story – a conflict, or pattern of conflicts, rooted in transition and related to creation. In the film's closing moments, she even addresses the literal problem of being caught in a painting: the encore finds her dancing, wistful and unchained, perhaps finally having found her answers, or accepting that there are none