Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film Bring on the Racist Comments - Mehcad Brooks Cast to Play Jimmy Olsen in New 'Supergirl' Series Bring on the Racist Comments - Mehcad Brooks Cast to Play Jimmy Olsen in New 'Supergirl' Series These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Review: 'Rising From Ashes' (First Rwandan National Cycling Team Takes a Shot at 2012 Olympics)

Photo of Jai Tiggett By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act August 1, 2013 at 3:01PM

Inspirational sports documentary Rising From Ashes follows cycling legend Jock Boyer on a six-year journey to train the first ever national cycling team of Rwanda. Directed by T.C. Johnstone and executive produced and narrated by Forest Whitaker, the film opens in theaters tomorrow, August 2, in New York and Los Angeles.
0
Olympian and Team Rwanda member Adrien Niyonshuti in 'Rising From Ashes'
First Run Features Olympian and Team Rwanda member Adrien Niyonshuti in 'Rising From Ashes'

Inspirational sports documentary Rising From Ashes follows cycling legend Jock Boyer on a six-year journey to train the first ever national cycling team of Rwanda. Directed by T.C. Johnstone and executive produced and narrated by Forest Whitaker, the film opens in theaters tomorrow, August 2, in New York and Los Angeles. 

Inspired by cyclists he met on a 2005 bicycle tour of Rwanda, Tom Ritchey, one of the inventors of the mountain bike, sets out to create a team he hopes will qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. To help train them, he enlists the help of Boyer, his old racing rival and the first American ever to ride in the Tour de France. Through interviews and Whitaker's narration, we learn that everyone is hoping this team will bring pride and redemption to a country still devastated by the 1994 genocide that killed nearly 20% of its population. Slick photography reflects a community that has been broken, but still has a piercing beauty. 

Like star cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti, who lost 60 members of his family in the genocide, the teammates - mostly in their teens - have been crippled by loss and cling to each other for support. This is also a story of personal redemption for Boyer, who hints at a dark past including family struggles and a 2002 conviction for lewd behavior with a minor. Without much prior knowledge of Rwanda he focuses instead on bringing structure and discipline to the team. 

There are plenty of sports dramas, many of them narrative films, about white coaches who enter depressed black communities to inspire young athletes to greatness. They often come off as overly emotional and paternalistic, which may be why this doc concerns itself mostly with the team's actual sports exploits - learning to train, struggling with outdated bikes, and performing in their first races. Still, in a country with as complicated a history and ongoing struggle as Rwanda, there's a desire to know much more about the people in this film and the community they come from. Details about the cyclists' lives, their fate, and their culture are glossed over in favor of focusing on their athletic performance. In the end, the story is uplifting, but not as impactful as it could be.  


This article is related to: Forest Whitaker, Reviews


Shadow & ActNewsletter