Join Soundtrack Stream to Research the article “A Ciambra review – a coming-of-age tale with real family at heart | World cinema”
Italian-American director Jonas Carpignano’s sophomore feature builds a fictional narrative around the Amatos, a real Roma family living on the outskirts of Gioia Tauro, a coastal town in southern Italy, selling scrap metal and stolen car parts to the mob. Shot on film and with the camera kept at close range to the bodies hoisted on scooters and running into (and away from) danger, it works as a kind of sequel to 2015’s Mediterranea, this time centred around Pio (Pio Amato), a scrappy 14-year-old who chain-smokes cigarettes and frequents nightclubs despite being too tenderly afraid to ride a train or kiss a girl.
When Pio’s older brother and father are arrested, he must become the family breadwinner, making quick cash by selling stolen laptops and televisions to the Ghanaian immigrants squatting in a nearby town, a community that welcomes him as one of their own. His only friend is a young Burkinabe man named Aviya (Koudous Seihon, who also starred in Mediterranea), an encouraging father figure who gives him a sense of purpose.
Carpignano carefully juxtaposes the way the film’s Roma characters are treated by the Italians (“You black piece of shit,” profanes one) with that community’s own racism (the older Amatos talk about how scared and disgusted they are by the neighbouring “Africans”). This dynamic makes for a fascinating and considered study of outsider tensions, though a third-act turn that forces Pio to pick a side hammers the point home a little too hard.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: A Ciambra review – a coming-of-age tale with real family at heart | World cinema