A Ciambra

Life among the Italian Romani community is explored in this gritty drama considering what it takes for a boy to become a man.

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Dir-Scr Jonas Carpignano
Prod Jon Coplon, Paolo Carpignano, Ryan Zacarias, Gwyn Sannia, Rodrigo Teixeira, Marc Schmidheiny, Cristoph Daniel
With Pio Amato, Koudous Seihon, Damiano Amato
UK Distribution Peccadillo Pictures

A gritty, authentic coming-of-age tale, tracing the increasingly serious criminal exploits of a tough teenage boy in a Calabrian Romani community in Italy. Teenager Pio lives within the Romani community of a small town that exists, literally and metaphorically, on the edge of society. With his role model brother recently sent to prison, Pio takes up the mantle of head of the family, his exploits leading him further and further into dangerous territory. His actions attract unwelcome attention and eventually he is forced to choose between loyalty to his friends or his family. Shot in a verité documentary style, with an air of authenticity underpinned by the use of non-professional actors – including members of a whole Romani family – A Ciambra is an enthralling drama and a terrific second feature from Jonas Carpignano, fulfilling the promise of his debut feature Mediterranea, which screened at the LFF2015.

Adrian Wootton