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.
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. Many 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 encourages them to explore their own skills and empowers them to find their own way into society – on two wheels. Mama Agatha’s initiative proves how an idea as simple as a cycling course can have a massive impact and radically improve the lives of marginalized social groups.
Released in May 2015, this short documentary by Fadi Hindash has been screened more than 60 times around the globe and continues to be shown in film festivals and various other events.