I'm Not Scared

Subscribe to Giuseppe Cristiano alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th March 2003

Box Office USA: $1.4M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Cattleya, Medusa Film, Colorado Film Production, Alquimia Cinema, The Producers Films


Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 88 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: Giuseppe Cristiano as Michele, Mattia Di Pierro as Fillipo, Giorgio Careccia as Felice, Fabio Tetta as Teschio, Giulia Matturo as Maria, Stefano Biase as Salvatore

I'm Not Scared Movie Review

From the moment the phrase Io Non Ho Paura (I'm Not Scared) appears, scrawled on a rock wall during the opening credits, until the final indelible fade-to-black when it appears once more, Italian director Gabriele Salvatores presents an eloquent coming-of-age tale about a young boy with uncommon courage.

The boy is Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano), a creative, inquisitive youngster who lives with his parents and kid sister in a rural rundown village on the outskirts of nowhere. He roams the gorgeous arid fields with his friends, and then rushes home to eat dinner and arm-wrestle his father. It appears that Dad is away for chunks of time, but neither Michele nor the audience gets enough information to fill in the blanks.

The pressures of impressing his father, caring for his sister and just being a kid implode on Michele when he makes a discovery that changes his life irrevocably. After uncovering a loose piece of sheet metal out in the fields, Michele finds... well, for the sake of avoiding a spoiler, let's say he finds someone rather than something. A person that has the potential to open his eyes, yet ruin his life.

Salvatores, directing his first major international release since winning the Best Foreign Film Oscar for Mediterraneo (1991), shows us an Italy you don't see in Under the Tuscan Sun. He combines the grittiness of tough times and horrible men with pastoral Italian fields, a perfect reflection of the balance of Michele's day-to-day existence. But the metaphor goes a step further; as if to emphasize the monotony of lower-class life, Salvatores' fields aren't lush rolling expanses of green. Instead, cinematographer Italo Petriccione keeps a very limited color palette, with fields that resemble the dirt and sand surrounding Michele's small neighborhood.

Within a world of somber discoveries and limited options, young Cristiano delivers an impressive performance as Michele, seemingly confident in the knowledge that the film rests on his slight shoulders. Sometimes, he invites us into his world by quietly reciting short tales, stories that illustrate his expansive imagination and ability to convert moments of tension into childhood comic books. Through these tales, we also learn that Michele may not completely trust his parents -- they're more useful to him as characters. As despicable thugs work their way in and out of the family's house, Michele learns that a small town can hold many secrets, and that his parents are at the center of a big one.

Without much fanfare or manipulation, Salvatores creates a sympathetic hero out of Michele. He reminds us of Leonardo DiCaprio's character in This Boy's Life or Alison Lohman's in White Oleander, kids whose lives are dangerously out of control and out of their own hands. Salvatores and Cristiano develop this feeling with less melodrama than those other films, and without making Michele seem naïve or passive. There are some dangerous moments for our young hero, but there's not much that feels overwhelmingly ominous.

This easy flow allows the film a good dose of reality, and lets the conclusion provide a solid wallop. It's an ending that flaunts a core of humanity within a shell of evil and greed. Salvatores' final image is the perfect capper, a visual both harsh and dreamy, very much like the entirety of his film.

Aka Io non ho paura.

I dunno, I'm a little scared.


Subscribe to Giuseppe Cristiano alerts


I'm Not Scared Rating

" Excellent "


More Giuseppe Cristiano

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...


Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...