In A 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 region's factions - ...
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In A 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 region's factions - the local Italians, the African refugees 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 but soon finds himself faced with an impossible decision that will show if he is truly ready to become a man.Written by
Italy's submission to the Foreign Language Film Award of the 90th Annual Academy Awards. See more »
I was born in that thing.
Pio, come here. Come.
Once, we were always on the road. On the road. We were free. We didn't have bosses. We answered to no-one. We were free, always on the road. Now, we are here. Remember, It's us against the world.
Against the world.
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Almost a sequel to American director Jonas Carpignanos' multi-prize winning "Mediterraneo", "A Ciambra" succeeds at something every European director has failed to do so far: To give a realistic, non-judgmental portrait of Romani life, in following 14-year-old Pio Amato's rapid coming-of-age process. Pio already appeared in "Mediterraneo", as did his refugee friend (Koudous Seihon), who was the principal character.
As you can tell from another review here, the attitude towards Sinti and Roma is to this day extremely racist and completely ignorant of the fact that they have been living in Italy for 600 years (Pio's surname is Sinti, i.e. his family has not migrated from the East). In Italian film, gypsies are always thieves and / or murderous psychopaths, "Suburra" and "Jeeg Robot" being the most notorious recent examples. By just reenacting Romani life, "A Ciambra" succeeds in showing how this racist exclusion of Roma (and refugees) creates exactly what it justifies itself with: a marginalized sub-society which perceives the law as hostile, and therefore resorts to crime as a means of survival and defiance. And in this dog-eats-dog world, family is both the only reliable safety net, and the biggest hindrance to an honest living - the film does a good job showing that.
If it's not a masterpiece, then because Carpignano adds nothing to this bleak outlook. There's not a shred of hope for Pio's future, and while this is realistic, it also doesn't give the audience much to work with.
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