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.
After 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.