Italian neo-realism reappears in New York-born Italian director Jonas Carpiganno’s “A Ciambra,” a window into the endless existence of the presence of Rome (the Gypsies), which is firmly entrenched here in the ruined and corrupt south of Italy.
In the early scene, the older brother shows how the Pio Amato (Pio Amato) can be heated and stolen on foot. And 14-year-old Pio gives a cigarette to her baby brother because that little boy curses his sister, who doesn’t even complain, showing us this child has already learned the male advantage that pervades this society.
The Carpignanno delegation consists mainly of 15 completely real members of a Rom family, Amatos, whose profession is only crime.
The Carpignanno delegation consists mainly of 15 completely real members of a Rom family, Amatos, whose profession is only crime. They stole cars, copper, electricity, luggage, and everything else they could. They are hostages in a world inhabited by “Italians” (always in quotes), prisoners who exploit Rome under them in a social order; by the police, who impose heavy fines and deprive the family of working men (albeit criminally) for long periods of time; and by African refugees who have their own crime, society, and marginalization. The proximity and night scenery contribute to the sense of claustrophobia that characterizes the Roman experience.
Pio’s path to masculinity within the Rom tribe is questioned by his relationship with an elderly African immigrant, Iiva (Koudus Seyhan), who treats his relatives more kindly and fraternally than Pio.
“A Ciambra” is an intriguing film with an even more intriguing cast of non-professional actors exposing the immoral worldview of expansion and tribalism, self-knowledge and group, friendship and family.
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Participation: Pio Amato, Koudus Seyhan and 14 other members of the Amato family.
Languages: Italian, with English subtitles
Awards: There were 13 winners, including Best Director and Best Editor for 2017 by David di Donatello and Label Cinema in Cannes and 20 others were nominated.
Working hours: 118 minutes
To Ciambra ★★★ (out of 4 stars)
Available: Stream in Hulu and for rent or purchase on Amazon, Google Play, YouTube and Vudu; to see Just watch here.