Featured Film: Mama Agatha
Fadi Hindash was sitting in a park last summer when he happened to notice a group of older women wearing headscarves taking bicycle lessons. As a writer and director who had recently immigrated to Amsterdam, he was struck by this image of immigrant women learning the most fundamental of Dutch skills and knew he had to tell their story. This is how the documentary film Mama Agatha was born.
Mama Agatha immigrated to The Netherlands from Ghana 30 years ago. She learned to cycle and now she works to pass the skill along to women, through lessons like Hindash witnessed in the park. Mama Agatha’s 12-week-bicycle-training course includes students who have come to South Amsterdam from Ghana, Suriname, Pakistan, Morocco and Somalia. Unlike most cycling courses in The Netherlands, Mama Agatha's course is run by an immigrant woman for immigrant women.
On the surface, Mama Agatha is giving women the ability to get around day-to-day in their adopted community, but Hindash hopes to show that in actuality, she is empowering women on the margins of society to participate in life. "Behind the humour and heart of the film, there are people doing their best to belong," he said.
Senior Consultant Angela van der Kloof first learned the bike can be a powerful tool for integrating people into society more than 20 years ago when she began teaching immigrant women to cycle in her hometown of Tilburg. Angela continues this type of work through projects providing train-the-bicycle-trainer courses and worked with Mama Agatha on a project in Amsterdam. Because of her experiences, Angela has been enthusiastic in supporting Hindash and The Sound of Applause, visual media studio, in their efforts to tell the story of Mama Agatha and the brave women of South Amsterdam. The film is being made with funding from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
For more information about the film or to become a sponsor, visit the website.
Watch the newly-released trailer here.