Rising From Ashes


Exactly a week ago was the Lecture Symposium at Campbell University.  Lynch Auditorium was completely filled and there was even an overflow room of students who came to watch the documentary Rising From Ashes.  What was really great was that the director, T.C Johnstone, was also there to answer questions and provide background for the movie.  

The night started out with refreshments of pita chips and dip before Dr. Truffin stood up and introduced director T.C. Johnstone.  Johnstone explained the background history of Rwanda, where the documentary takes place.  Rwanda had a time period of 100 days that was traumatic for the country.  During this 100 days in 1994, one million people were killed in a feud between two tribes.  However, the history for Rwandan bikers goes back farther than that.  The documentary explained how their bodies are the perfect shape for bikers.  

The movie began with American biker, Tom Richey, finding out how there was great potential in the people of Rwanda to be bikers and he invited his fellow biker, Jock Boyer to help pick out and train people to be part of the Rwanda bike team.  As the team was formed, the bikers grew very close to each other even though they were from different tribes.  The country bonded together over watching this team compete in international competitions.  The bike team helped heal the country of its wounds from the genocide.

When the documentary was finished, a short Q&A with Johnstone took place.  Questions that were asked included how long did the film take and how much did it cost.  He said it was about $800,000 and took five years to complete the movie.  As students gushed over the long period of time and the amount of money, Johnstone explained how you can’t let something stop you including money and time because if you believe and pursue your dreams, it will work.  He then encouraged the students to look past college and to look beyond at the big picture of what you want to accomplish in life.  The night did not just portray the change in a country, but a change in how students at Campbell view their lives.


Written by Hannah Gooding

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