Need some inspiration in your day? Then pause for a few minutes to watch the trailer for Rising from Ashes (below), a remarkable feature-length documentary that I saw over the weekend at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Director T.C. Johnstone reveals how a group of young survivors of the Rwandan genocide come together, against seemingly impossible odds, in a quest to form a national cycling team and to participate in the 2012 London Olympics.
Their story focuses not only on rebuilding their own lives, but on bringing light to the recent dark past of a country they love. Their leader: cycling legend Jock Boyer, the first American pro cyclist to participate in the Tour de France, who moved to Rwanda in 2005.
“The most devastating circumstances can yield the most powerful forms of hope,” says narrator and a producer of this film Forest Whitaker. This sensitive and inspiring narrative reminds us once again of the role that bicycles can play in transforming lives and creating a better world. Learn more in this article about the team in The New Yorker, and about upcoming screenings.