Team Rwanda’s story is fascinating. Many of its founding members were young boys during their country’s horrific 1994 genocide. They’ve found redemption and success as professional cyclists competing on an international level. The team’s founder, Jock Boyer, was the first American to race in the Tour de France. He too found a form of redemption in the team after his life in the United States fell apart following his professional cycling career. The team, its stars, and its founder were the subject of a terrific New Yorker article that stands out as one of the best pieces of cycling-related writing out there.
Team Rwanda is now the subject of a new feature-length documentary, Rising From the Ashes. The film has been in the works for six years and brings to it the star-power of Forest Whitaker as Executive Producer and narrator. Like the New Yorker article, the film looks at the foundation of the Team, its standout riders, Jock Boyer, and, according to the film’s synopsis, uses them as a catalyst to explore the larger issues of Rwanda’s genocide and its aftermath. The trailer is excellent and I look forward to seeing the film.