Film Review: The Ciambra – OUT NOW

Directed by Jonas Carpignano, and executively produced by Martin Scorsese, ‘The Ciambra’ is a million miles away from the polished formulaic Hollywood product, ‘Oceans 8’ that is also out this week.

Anyone who has seen Carpignano’s previous film Mediterranea will recognise a few familiar faces in The Ciambra and in a way this movie is an offshoot from that film.

Set in a real life gypsy camp in a small Romani community in Calabria, Italy it’s the story of a young boy, Pio Amato (also from Mediterranea). He’s fourteen, he drinks, he smokes and he visits nightclubs. When his only role model, older brother Cosimo disappears he finds surviving in this tough environment means crime is never far away.

The Ciambra is ‘City of God’ for 2018. The film gets under the skin of the world it inhabits so well that at times you feel completely immersed in its lively altercations and interactions.

Pio Amato is so natural that I hesitate to use the word ‘acting’ when describing his performance. In fact most of the ‘actors’ in The Ciambra are actually locals from the Romani community and Carpignano guides the film with such skill that at times it is breathtaking in its execution.


In 2017 it was presented at the Cannes Film festival and won the Europa Cinemas Label Award and in an alternative universe this week this movie is number one at the box office.

The Ciambra is in UK Cinemas now. For more information on screenings visit