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
“The film makes a powerful argument for the bicycle’s potential as an empowering machine, giving these women who are marginalised by age, gender and ethnicity, a greater agency and independence.”
–Bruce Bennett, Lancaster University
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.
“It was hard at first. But those of us who stuck with it were so happy the first time we managed to ride our bikes by ourselves. It gave us such a feeling of freedom!”
In this wonderful interview with Gaëlle Faure from News Deeply, Mama Agatha remembers how she first started her cycling course in Amsterdam Southeast as well as her own baby steps with the bicycle.