Pio Amato is a fourteen-year-old kid, like all boys of his age he want’s to be a “man”. A wannabe Mafioso, in reality Pio is more of an Artful Dodger, picking pockets and stealing luggage to help boost the finances of his extended family, all attempting to live outside the law in The Ciambra, a crumbling apartment block in Calabria, Southwest Italy.
Pio’s boyish charm makes him unique in his ability to slide between the regions different factions – the Mafia, the African migrants, the Romani and the Italians – and thereby manage an almost frictionless trade in stolen goods. He idolises his older brother Cosimo and follows him everywhere, learning the necessary skills for life on the rough streets around the Ciambra. When Cosimo and his father are arrested Pio is determined to fill their shoes, but is he willing, or even able, to make the sacrifices necessary to become a man?