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
“We played «Mama Agatha» at our Bike Shorts Film Festival last year. We received incredible feedback. Mama Agatha was the one movie that people still bring up to me and tell me how inspiring it was.”
—Tracy Wilkins, HUB Cycling Canada
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.
Cycling Cultures: Insights and Methods is a symposium at Manchester Metropolitan University that showcases established and emerging research around cycling. The symposium will take place on February 14, 2019 and the afternoon program includes a screening of Mama Agatha with a foreword by film scholar Dr. Bruce Bennett (Lancaster University). See the event website for more information.