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Praise for T.C. Johnstone's RISING FROM ASHES

"A remarkable documentary. 'Rising from Ashes' is not just about a cycling team; it's a testament to what happens when human beings care for one another. Director T.C. Johnstone puts six years of work on this film to good use. The work has as little fat as his stars, yet his footage is rich, and his story is layered. He unspools details and developments with a patience that never tries ours. Johnstone has confidence in all elements of filmmaking—images, interviews, narration (by actor and co-producer Forest Whitaker, used sparingly), sound, and a fantastic soundtrack—and uses each to vivid and captivating effect." -Daphne Howland, The Village Voice

"A compelling tale. In chronicling the establishment of a professional cycling team in post-genocide Rwanda, T.C. Johnstone’s film convincingly illustrates how biking restored a sense of national pride and a feeling of purpose to poverty-torn citizens. The movie crafts genuine drama from a nail-biter of an Olympic-qualifying race."
- Andrew Schenker, Time Out NY

"Uplifting…moving.  Narrated in unobtrusive fashion by Forest Whitaker and featuring a jaunty Afropop soundtrack, the film is crisp and economical, with the filmmaker carefully avoiding extraneous melodramatics. They are, after all, hardly necessary in a tale that already contains such inherently powerful drama."-Frank Schneck, The Hollywood Reporter

“The wildly improbable story of the Rwandan National Cycling Team, a.k.a. Team Rwanda, delivers!   Layers of suffering and joy mingle in 'Rising From Ashes', which gives you more than you expect - it turns out there are dramas going on  that you wouldn't initially suspect. One pleasure of the film is experiencing the wonderful good spirits of the riders as they find their way in the strange new world of competitive cycling.  Director T.C. Johnston knew a good story when he saw one, and we can all be grateful for that.”
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“A wonderfully inspiring documentary… 'Ashes' is joyous and uplifting, full of spirit, memorable athletes (including Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti) and remarkable achievements, both big and small.” - New York Daily News

"Inspirational… Slick photography reflects a community that has been broken, but still has a piercing beauty." - Jai Tigget, Indiewire

"The story behind 'Rising from Ashes' is so moving and compelling…viewers can learn a lot about courage and perseverance from the Team Rwanda members. By turns uplifting and sobering, the documentary shows the positive results that can arise from simple means." - Daniel Eagan, Film Journal

"Inspirational and beautifully shot." - what (not) to doc

"Stirring...engaging...inspirational...a crowd-pleaser!" -Dennis Harvey, Variety

"Bracing...gripping...compelling.  Sports provide a path for redemption for both athletes and coaches in 'Rising From Ashes.'" -Nick Schager, The Onion/ AV Club

"A nearly seven-year odyssey...compelling and emotional." -Jon Maletz, Aspen Times

"A visually striking, affecting reflection on the birth of Rwanda's first national cycling team."-Russ Espinoza, Austin Chronicle

"This is what a documentary film should be...a masterful tribute to unity, selflessness and redemption in spite of all odds. Reminds us that the incredible still happens every day, even against the darkest, most determined opposition." -Steven Jones, Truth on Cinema

"The result is a beautiful and truly inspiring piece of cinema that serves as "a momentary stay against confusion." In the midst of this reckless and often violent world we live in, Rising from Ashes is a reminder of redemption." - Carol Anne Ausband, Christianity Today