“Rising From Ashes” is a joyous and uplifting independent film about the development of a national cycling team in Rwanda, a country still affected deeply by the genocide that tore the East African nation apart in 1994.

Two worlds collide when cycling legend Jacques “Jock” Boyer moves to Rwanda in 2006 to help a group of struggling survivors of the genocide to pursue their dream of creating a national cycling team. Members of the fledgling team were children left orphaned by the genocide a decade earlier. Their pasts are painful. As they set out against impossible odds, both Boyer — fighting his own past demons — and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their pasts through remarkable achievements, both big and small.

The documentary tells a story of redemption, hope and second chances. It is not about the bike; however, the bicycle becomes a tool that has helped change a nation.

Team Rwanda began as a cycling organization, but became so much more once organizers realized the greater needs of the athletes. Many of the riders could not read or write, lived in homes without water and electricity, were malnourished and had never received healthcare. But there was still a greater issue, the issue of the heart.

While Team Rwanda has taken care of the physical and mental issues of the riders, it has also provided something greater — hope for a nation. Rwanda is a country still recovering from one of the world’s most devastating genocides and the country has longed for heroes. The riders of Team Rwanda have become more than just a cycling team; they have become ambassadors for a country rising from its ashes. They have given the small nation a vision of something greater than itself and renewed a sense of purpose.

But “Rising From Ashes” is more than a movie. It’s a story that relates to each and every person. It’s a gateway of hope. However, this is just the beginning. Since 2005, Team Rwanda has developed a model for caring for passionate athletes and it has gone on to expand that vision. In 2012, Team Rwanda began its next phase, the development of Africa’s first all-black, all-African team to attempt the greatest cycling event in the world, the Tour de France, after having qualified its first rider for the Olympic Games in London.

Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.explorefrontier.com. Tickets at the door will be $12. The Frontier Cinema & Café is at 14 Main St.

For more information about the film, go to www.risingfromashesthemovie.com.


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