Once a week, a group of migrant women in Amsterdam learn how to ride a bicycle. Inspiring them to let go of the fear and get behind the wheels is a Ghanaian community mother named Mama Agatha.

‘Mama Agatha’ is a heart-warming documentary about letting go of the past and the freedom of riding a bicycle.

“Beautifully shot and full to the brim with life… one of the best short films I saw this year!”

–Louise Bawtree, Quandary Productions

Mama Agatha is a 59-year-old Ghanaian woman who runs a bicycle training program for migrant and refugee women in the south of Amsterdam. A ‘community mother’ with a larger-than-life personality, she teaches a group of women from Pakistan, Morocco, Somalia, China and elsewhere the most basic Dutch skill: cycling. Mama Agatha’s summer course ends in a colorful graduation ceremony where the migrant ladies receive their diplomas and take to the streets of Amsterdam on their brand new bicycles.

Over a course of 12 weeks, this short documentary follows Mama Agatha and her students on their journey from the baby steps with the bicycle until their graduation.

The women in Mama Agatha’s course come from all corners of the world. Most of them speak neither Dutch nor English. They come from different cultures and religions, yet what connects them all is the will to learn something many of us take for granted: to ride a bike.
What Mama Agatha teaches these women more than just cycling. She gives them the courage to explore their own skills, interact with their environment and empowers them to find their own way into society – on two wheels.
Mama Agatha’s initiative proves how a simple idea such as a cycling course can have a massive impact and radically improve the lives of marginalized social groups. She and her students are living proof that physical mobility = social mobility.

Latest Announcement

02 Jun

This week at SF DocFest

sf-docfestAfter our spring tour and a whole bunch of wonderful community screenings of Mama Agatha across Europe (including in Slovakia, Malta and the place where it all began – in Amsterdam Southeast, where Mama Agatha’s cycling courses take place), we are heading back across the pond: Opening today is the 15th edition of SF DocFest, the annual festival devoted to documentary cinema. Since 2001, this two-week-long event has brought the most weird and wonderful aspects of real life to the big screen. We have the great pleasure to be participating in one of the very best documentary festivals in the Bay area – Mama Agatha is screening in the section “Badass women” on June 12 and June 15 in San Francisco’s marvelous, historic non-profit cinema, the Roxie theatre. See the screening times and secure your tickets here.