A Ciambra | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated NR · 118 minutes · 2018

What begins as a simple piece of cultural anthropology slowly evolves into an effective morality tale—just a bit too slowly. Writer/director Jonas Carpignano enters the Romani community of Italy’s Calabria region, focusing on 14-year-old Pio (Pio Amato). When Pio’s older brother (Damiano Amato) is arrested, it’s left to Pio to help support the family with whatever small-time criminal hustles he can muster. Like many similar dramas built on non-professional casting and verisimilitude, A Ciambra at times feels a bit inert, even as it explores potentially intriguing dynamics like the interactions between the Romani and more-recently-arrived African immigrants like Pio’s friend and occasional co-conspirator Ayiva (Koutous Seihon). Fortunately, Carpignano steers the story towards two solid thematic ideas: the urbanization of the once-nomadic Romani people, and the way young people in so many minority communities are forced to leave their childhood behind far too soon. A hint of Dardennes-esque emotional force wriggles its way into Pio’s narrative, finally allowing the film to feel like one particular story rather than an attempt at telling an entire community’s story.
Staff Rating:
Official Site: www.ifcfilms.com/films/a-ciambra
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producer: Joel Brandeis, Fernando Fraiha, Alessio Lazzareschi, Sophie Mas, Lourenço Sant'Anna, Martin Scorsese, Dario Suter, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Christoph Daniel, Paolo Carpignano, Jon Coplon, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Rodrigo Teixeira and Ryan Zacarias
Cast: Pio Amato, Koudous Seihon, Damiano Amato, Francesco Amato, Iolanda Amato, Patrizia Amato, Rocco Amato and Susanna Amato

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