When his father and older brother Cosimo are arrested, 14 year old Pio Amato appoints himself head of his Romani family living in a run down Calabrian estate.
A strutting teenager, he’s more than adept at surviving on the streets and following in his brother’s footsteps. But there’s little in the way of a true sense of dramatic tension within A Ciambra – director Jonas Carpignano (Mediterranea, A Chiara) choosing to focus more on a fly-on-the-wall style documentary as Pio flits between tough-boy home life and a more vulnerable teenager among the equally marginalised and unwanted African community.
With its largely non-professional cast with many from the same Amato family, A Ciambra is a raw commentary on the less visible issues of European migration along with the exploration of Pio’s emerging understanding of manhood. Combined, Carpignano is highlighting the vicious circle that encompasses marginalised communities as Pio puts family first above his friendship with Ayiva (Koudous Siehon – Mediterranea, A Chiara).