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I'm Not Scared (2003)

Io non ho paura (original title)
R | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 May 2004 (USA)
A young boy accidentally discovers a deep hole in the ground, where another boy is kept prisoner.


(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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14 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Giuseppe Cristiano ...
Mattia Di Pierro ...
Adriana Conserva ...
Fabio Tetta ...
Giulia Matturro ...
Stefano Biase ...
Fabio Antonacci ...
Dino Abbrescia ...
Giorgio Careccia ...
Antonella Stefanucci ...
Riccardo Zinna ...
Michele Vasca ...
Susi Sánchez ...
Filippo's mother (as Susy Sánchez)
Diego Abatantuono ...


While playing outside one day, nine-year-old Michele discovers Filippo, who is chained to the ground at the bottom of a hole. Michele witnesses town baddie Felice nearby and suspects something bad is happening. Michele is unsure whom he should tell about his discovery, eventually spilling the beans to his closest friend. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | friend | fear | chained | glasses | See All (230) »


Who can you trust when everyone's a suspect? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

7 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I'm Not Scared  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$643,713 (Italy) (21 March 2003)


$1,615,118 (USA) (27 August 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was loosely based on a true story of a kidnapped boy from Milan and the novella written about the incident. See more »


When Felice is attending to Fillipo, he is dancing to a song on the radio. The right hand door is open in one shot. But after Felice gets up from doing his push-ups the door is closed. See more »


Featured in At the Movies: Episode #1.8 (2004) See more »


Lugano addio
Written by Ivan Graziani
Performed by Ivan Graziani
BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Moving and intelligent film filled with emotive scenes and touching set pieces ; being efficiently directed by Gabriele Salvatores
21 November 2014 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Perceptible drama filmed with sensitivity and good feeling . Sensational film that dispenses a brooding plot and considered to be one of the best Italian films of the 2000s , in fact was voted one of the best pictures by professionals and critics . Well directed film by Gabriele Salvatores , including a stirring story and screenplay by Niccolò Ammaniti , who tried to create an agreeable flick plenty of sensitivity and metaphor by tackling a description about a bright ten-year-old boy who finds several surprises on his early life . In southern Italy, Michele , a fine little boy , along with his friends visit an old rotten house on the outskirts of their small Italian village . Michelle (Giuseppe Cristiano , director Salvatores interviewed nearly 600 boys for the part , ultimately settling for novice Giuseppe, the son of a Fiat car worker) nearly meets another boy chained in a basement hidden outside his village, but fears to speak of it . Putting together what he learns from television, he starts dealing with the blind boy, his own parents , and a series of unexplained visiting strangers such as Sergio (Diego Abatantuono) , with a high-profile kidnapping that has the entire nation on edge . As Michelle lives with a dysfunctional as well as impoverished family formed by his intimate mother Anna (Aitana Sánchez Gijon) , father Pino (Dino Abbrescia) and brother . Michelle hearing behind doors and he aware horrible happenings . He is so interested in these mysteries that exacerbate his ingenuity and imagination . As Michelle begins to investigate all the secrets of people visit his home , of his family and their stories , but he finds out a terrible conclusion . Who can you trust when everyone's a suspect ?

It's a brilliant and touching story although sometimes is slow moving and tiring but is developed with intelligence and sensibility . In the picture are treated ethics and morals themes narrated with great sense of fairness and ductility . This is an intense as well as sensitive drama dealing with a little boy who meets another filthy, incoherent kid locked into a cellar , where is kept prisoner . A coming-of-age tale in which he discovers the sense of life about dark family secrets, friendship and compassion . This slow-moving and intelligent picture is well set in Southern Italy of the 70s . This film was loosely based on a true story of a kidnapped boy from Milan and the novella written about the incident . Enjoyable and thought-provoking picture starred by a phenomenal little actor , Giuseppe Cristiano . Sensitive film full of feeling , haunting mood-pieces , wonderful scenes and sense of wonder . Colorful picture , including marvelous frames , being mostly filmed at Southern Italy and including sunny outdoor scenes . This extraordinary flick spells through intricate patterns of images , sets , sound and color . His style is pretty much dry in the atmosphere as in the fresh dialog , as well as realistic , and including pleasant elements as when the little boy runs on the cereal countryside ."I'm Not Scared" is one of Tornatore's undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in his filmography where shows efficiently an interesting story and shot at the height of his creativity , with some peculiar characters , as the main starring boy , his lovely mummy magnificently performed by the Spanish Aitana Sánchez Gijon and the grudge visitor well played by Diego Abatantuono . Splendid , luxurious photography with juicy atmosphere is reflected on the marvelous outdoors in the country by cameraman Italo Petriccione , Salvatores's usual , being shot on location in Apulia, and Basilicata, Italy . As the film is mainly told from a child's point of view, director Gabriele Salvatores instructed his director of photography Italo Petriccione to shoot most of the film at a child's height.

This is a Italian/Spanish co-production perfectly financed by magnificent producers as Spanish Miguel Menéndez de Zubillaga of ¨Piedras¨ , ¨Amnesia¨, ¨Utopia¨ , ¨Camaron¨ as Italian ones such as Maurizio Totti , Stabilini and Riccardo Tozzi . The motion picture was stunningly realized by Gabrielle Salvatores . He was born in 1950, Naples, Campania, location where he often shoots his films . He is a very good Italian movies director ; Tornatore is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally, and in proof of it he won many prizes in several Festivals . The constant theme of his movies is the escape from the problems of the modern world and the most of his movies include philosophical themes . Almost always casts Diego Abatantuono ; frequently also casts Sergio Rubini . Longtime companion of Rita Rabassini , she's the former wife of Diego Abatantuono, who acted in many of Gabriele's movies and is a close friend . Among his most important films are ¨Nirvana¨ , ¨Amnesia¨ , ¨Educazione ¨Siberiana¨, ¨Marrakech Express¨ ,¨ Quo Vadis baby ¨ , his successful and Oscarized ¨Mediterraneo¨ and of course this ¨I'm not scared¨ . Rating : Better than average . Worthwhile watching .

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