The director of Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Scared) is 66 to today.
One of the most admired Italian movie of the 21st century is Gabriele Salvatores’s about the kidnapping of a 10-year-old boy named Filippo. While disturbing, Io Non Ho Paura is at the same time uplifting and even inspirational, a classic story of right and wrong and amazing in its clarity when shown to us through the eyes of a child. And since it is a child’s challenge, he isn’t even equipped with the same power and tools that an adult has to make change for good.
Ten year old Michele finds Fillipo in chains in a hole in the ground covered with a sheet of metal and you might think that his first instinct would be to tell the adults – to get help. But Michele knows that the adults, even his own parents, are not to be trusted. As he begins to understand more about what’s going on he’s compelled to help Filippo.
Io Non Ho Paura is based on the story of real boy from Milan who was kidnapped during the period in Italy in which terrorist groups kidnapped wealthy people from the North and held them in the South, and killed them if a ransom wasn’t paid.
This gripping movie set in 1978 Basilicata was filmed from a child’s perspective – literally – the lens is lowered to a child’s eye level. And it is told from a child’s emotional level; we are really made to feel Michele’s compassion and fear, and Filippo’s despair. Watching them I became lost in their world and genuinely afraid for them.