Lisa Schwarzbaum
April 08, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I'm Not Scared

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
101 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/09/04
performer
Giuseppe Cristiano, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Dino Abbrescia, Diego Abatantuono
director
Gabriele Salvatores
distributor
Miramax
author
Niccolo Ammaniti, Francesa Marciano
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Foreign Language

We gave it a B+

In I’m Not Scared, Italian children play together in a field of wheat bathed by summer sun — and yet something about the quality of light in this enjoyably sinister drama conveys foreboding. The gaggle at play, including 10-year-old Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano), challenge each other, as kids do, with pint-size dares. The adults, meanwhile, are up to something far more menacing, which Michele accidentally uncovers: He stumbles across a secret bunker at a derelict farmhouse and glimpses what appears to be a small human foot.

The film is adapted by Gabriele Salvatores (”Mediterraneo”) from Niccolò Ammaniti’s best-selling novel of the same name. With a taste for dark lyricism, the director delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface innocence and subterranean danger, and between grown-up secrets and boyhood bravery.

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