“Powerful realistic drama with a fantastic leading role played by Pio Amato”
A Ciambra is set in the southern Italian region of Calabria: the poorest area of the Italian boot where family ties are strong and African refugees arrive by boat. That is where the Roma family Amato lives, four generations packed together in a rickety house. Petty crime such as burglary and car theft ensure survival. All the while, they try not get under the feet of the local mafia.
When the father and eldest son are arrested, 14-year- old Pio feels like the man of the house. He is keen to show that he can be taken seriously and starts thieving on his own. He builds a relationship of trust with the Burkinese immigrant Ayiva, whom he can turn to for help and who becomes a kind of second father to him. However, Pio will find that being a real man also means having to make choices, because family ties are sometimes stronger than any other friendship.
A Ciambra is a true-to-life and highly unusual story about growing up. Pio and the Amato family exist in real life and play themselves in the film. This gives the images a realism that you rarely see in other films. The film is bursting with energy, was the Italian Oscar entry and won the Georges Delerue Award for Best Music at the Gent Film Festival.