One review on 14 May 2022

Italy 2017

Running time: 118 mins

A Ciambra

Director : Jonas Carpignano 

Setting: Italy, Calabria
Original language: Italian
synopsis extract: In 'The Ciambra', a small Romani community in Calabria, Pio Amato is desperate to grow up fast. ...

Aspect Ratio: 1.85 widescreen

Colour: Colour

Sound: Mono

Camera: 16mm

Tech Notes: Camera : 16mm. Mono

First Seen: Sat 14th May 2022
Catalogued: 27th May 2022


In 'The Ciambra', a small Romani community in Calabria, Pio Amato is desperate to grow up fast. At 14, he drinks, smokes and is one of the few to easily slide between the regions' factions - the local mafias, the African immigrants and his fellow Romani.

Pio follows his older brother Cosimo everywhere, learning the necessary skills for life on the streets of their hometown. When Cosimo disappears and things start to go wrong. Pio sets out to prove he's ready to step into his big brother's shoes and in the process he must decide if he is truly ready to become a man.


by rogerco on Sat 14th May 2022 DVD proj @ home (Subtitled)

Bicycle Thieves for the 21st Century

Full review

Following (literally a lot of the time) Pio as he picks his way through life in the Ciambra community and with his African refugee/immigrant friends this is a fascinating story of family and community and the tensions of growing up.

Life is confusing when you are growing up, and the film might seem so at first but it all comes together as a vivid portrait of Pio's experience trying to grow up.

The actors playing the family members are all a real Romani family playing themselves, but it is only at the end credits when you see their names that you realise this, so natural are their performances (I don't speak Italian so there may be some clues in the way lines are delivered).

This is an excellent example of modern neo-Realism, very much in the vein of de Sica's classic 'Bicycle Thieves', but thoroughly modern. If you like the films of Ken Loach or Mike Leigh you'll like this.