A Ciambra is an unrelenting look a boy in Italy whose life mirror’s not that of a youngster, but of a man. Pio lives in a small apartment with his immediate and extended family consisting of his parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and what we assume are his cousins. His older brother, father, and grandfather earn the family’s living by various criminal means. The primary source comes from stealing cars from nearby upper class neighborhoods. Pio watches from the corner of the room and the windows of the house essentially learning how the family business is conducted. What the family doesn’t use for living expenses is taken from them by some local hoods.
The children in the Southern Italy community are left mostly to their own devices. A few of them smoking and cursing at very young ages. Pio spends as much time as he can with his older brother trying to integrate himself more into the family business. When the older males of the family are arrested, Pio is put in the position of man of the house, or rather he assumes the position himself. With the rest of the family cautioning him to stay out of trouble, Pio recognizes their dire straits and sets out on his own to provide.