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The Ciambra(A Ciambra)

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Italy, Brazil, Germany · 2017
1h 58m
Director Jonas Carpignano
Starring Pio Amato, Koudous Seihon, Damiano Amato, Iolanda Amato
Genre Crime, Drama

Pio Amato, a 14 year-old member of a small Romani community in southern Italian town of Gioia Tauro in Calabria, is in a hurry to grow up. Pio follows his older brother Cosimo everywhere and from him he learns how to hustle and how to navigate the streets of his hometown. One night Pio sets out to prove to his brother that he is as good or better than him but, when things go wrong, a series of events will forever change the way he sees the world.

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Mr. Carpignano has a shrewd sense not only of the character’s psychology, but also of the audience’s expectations, and our tendency to confuse realism with magical thinking.


Village Voice by Abbey Bender

A Ciambra is at its best when Carpignano captures the textures of everyday life, suggesting the neorealists with his use of nonprofessional actors and on-location shooting.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Sorely lacking the energy that made “Mediterranea” such a vital shot in the arm, A Ciambra is a half-step backward for Carpignano, whose clear sense of place is too often hampered by shapeless plot.


Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

First the film inhabits the eye of a storm—which is to say, the storm of Italy’s wretched peripheries—before submitting to the more ersatz cinematic will of filling Pio’s life with beginnings, middles, and ends.


New York Magazine (Vulture) by Emily Yoshida

The film treads familiar territory when it’s trying to carve cinema-worthy myth from its semi-fictitious protagonist’s life, but its more impressionistic, painterly moments are what feel truly fresh.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Creatively speaking, however, A Ciambra is something of a step sideways for the Italian-American filmmaker, consolidating his considerable formal and observational gifts while fumbling a bit as storytelling.


The Playlist by Nikola Grozdanovic

While it makes its point half-way into its running time and you start getting the anxious jitters of a film that overstays its welcome, A Ciambra serves the fundamental cinematic purpose of transporting you to another world.

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