I’m Not Scared/ Io non ho paura (2003)

One thing’s for certain: this is not a pseudo travel ad like the Rom-Coms Hollywood churns out. Upon its release, the trailer– in America at least– set this up as a heart-stopping thriller that appeared to border on Horror. However, it turned out to be a stoically thoughtful depiction of circumstances inspired by a rash of kidnappings in the South of Italy, a detail I didn’t find out until later. Both the overly dramatic marketing and lack of meaningful connection to the plot hindered my appreciation of the movie at the time.

It came to mind after reading a true crime novel written by a journalist, who moved to Italy then inadvertently got caught up in a convoluted murder investigation that would eerily foreshadow the later accusation of an American college student, who was blamed for her roommate’s brutal murder.

Regardless of your knowledge of/ experience with corruption and propaganda juxtaposed by gorgeous scenery and historical landmarks, this film is at least an interesting consideration of the nature of secrets as seen through the eyes of a child. His coming- of- age is brought about by bravery in the face of distrust as he comes to terms with mature realities, such as the behavior of which adults are capable.

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