Inspiring, tough-hearted documentary about the formation of the Rwandan cycling team in the wake of the 1994 genocide.
| Original Score: 3/5
We're invited to bask in the achievements of Team Rwanda, but it's difficult to when confronted with the lingering intrigue surrounding Boyer's story.
The film is beautifully put together, with slick editing and glossy photography. The beauty of Rwanda is astonishing.
| Original Score: 4/5
The race footage is everything a cycling addict, or even a casual admirer, could hope for.
File it under the subgenre 'feel-good documentary.' Rising from Ashes is simple, direct and ultimately uplifting.
Essentially a sports documentary with the look and feel of an ESPN program, "Rising from Ashes" nevertheless has broad, inspirational appeal on a human level.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
This is an inspiring tale of a nation, and a man, not wanting to be judged by past misdeeds.
| Original Score: 3/4
A few gaps in the narrative do little to tarnish the impact of this stirring tale, which offers big heart and quick feet to those in the mood for a story that reinforces the power of the human spirit.
| Original Score: B
Engaging personalities and lively, good-looking assembly make T.C. Johnstone's inspirational sports docu a crowdpleaser.
This feel-good sports doc brings a little-known story to compelling life.
Ashes is joyous and uplifting, full of spirit, memorable athletes (including Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti) and remarkable achievements, both big and small.
This team [Team Rwanda]...had something to prove and T.C. Johnstone does a solid job in chronicling their journey from the bottom to the top of their sport.
| Original Score: B-
The sincerity and simplicity of the film ... lift it somewhat above the ordinary run.
Its story line is as positive and affirmative as the title indicates, but it turns out there are dramas going on in this documentary that you wouldn't initially suspect.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
...the story behind Rising from Ashes is so moving and compelling that the documentary's shortcomings seem inconsequential.
Rising from Ashes is not just about a cycling team; it's a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another.
The movie crafts genuine drama from a nail-biter of an Olympic-qualifying race and authentic pathos from footage of Rwandans watching the Games' opening ceremony on television.
An inspirational illustration of how the Olympics came to serve as a unifying step in terms of exorcising the demons ever haunting Rwanda's grisly killing fields.
So while the subjects explored in Rising from Ashes are worthy of contemplation, the methodology of doing so puts the brakes on the film's ability to inspire and persuade.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Though the subject inspires, Johnstone's treatment lacks focus and edge, falling back on platitudes, sentiment, and generalities when clarity is what is needed.