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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 17.54%
Average: 10.53%
Pretty Bad: 10.53%
Total Crap: 0%

6 reviews, 21 user ratings

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I'm Not Scared
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by Dr Nick

"Almost got hayfever just by watching this"
2 stars

Usually I don’t mind slow films, but there has to be some substance to them, something interesting to make up for the slow pace. This Italian film lasts for what seems like forever (and it’s not even two hours), it is predictable, repetitive and the story isn’t even that interesting.

A young boy, Michele, accidentally stumbles upon a hole in the ground. To his horror a young boy is being held there against his will. He befriends the boy and he slowly (emphasis on slowly, folks) learns that the whole village, including his own parents, have kidnapped this child and are demanding a ransom from his rich parents. The adults of the village find out that Michelle knows and it all goes horribly wrong. Well, not really. There’s also a predictable “surprise” ending. Oh joy!

This film really didn’t do anything for me. First of all, how does a whole village decide to kidnap a young boy? Surely someone would have objected. Ok, Michele’s mother doesn’t seem to proud of the whole thing, but that’s just not enough for me. But then again, who says films has to be realistic? Let’s just accept the fact that they all just decide to go through with this, cause in the end this was not what ruined the film for me. What really bugged me was how slow and repetitive it all was. Michelle goes to the house and leaves. He goes back to the house, finds the hole and leaves. He goes back to the hole, finds the boy and leaves. He goes back to the boy, they talk and he leaves. He goes back to the boy, feeds him and befriends him. Then he leaves. You see what I’m getting at here. It’s all just awfully repetitive and no amount of long countryside tracking shots can make up for that (I’ll get to this later).

The performances, both from the children and the adults, are good. There are some very well executed scenes of childhood betrayal and in general the film captures the excitement of being a child extremely well. If finding a boy in a hole is exiting, that is. Which it should be. I mean, it's not something that happens every day. But, young Michele handles the situation surprisingly well, until he trades the secret for a toy car. As you do.

The cinematography is at first very impressive. Rural Italy is captured beautifully in rich, vibrant colours and the long tracking shots through the endless fields of crops are stunning at first. But, there’s only so much you can take of fields and crops before the effect is lost. And these shots are repeated throughout the whole film, to remind us that the hole is far away. Well, we know that from the first time Michele makes the journey.

Also, I don’t think the film really knows what to be. Is it a thriller or just a coming-of-age story with a twist? Well, it doesn’t fit into any of those categories and is at its best bit a little bit of each. There are not enough scary bits, or thrilling bits if you like, to describe it as a thriller, and a coming-of-age story usually involves some kind of character development. Michele doesn't change that much, if at all. Maybe he’s slightly more confused about the world of grown-ups but in the end it seems like he’ll just forget the whole episode as just another summer adventure.

In the end, I think this would have worked better as a short. There is just not enough here to fill the 108 minutes.

Maybe there was some hidden meaning to this film that I just didn't get. To me it was just endless fields and a boy in a hole. If that sound like your kind of thing, then this might just be the film for you.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/12/04 20:58:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Minneapolis/St.Paul Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/08/09 brian "Stand by Me" with an Italian accent, but not derivative. 4 stars
1/17/09 Shaun Wallner Pure Entertainment! 5 stars
1/03/08 Kaiser Nice, superb and I continued till the end 5 stars
9/26/06 pixie I watched it with my italian class and it was a fantastic movie that has a great p 5 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Transcendant movie...Hollywood is incapable of this kind of work. 5 stars
6/06/05 samira Beautiful wonderful movie!!! 5 stars
2/16/05 H Albanese I enjoy Films with an Italian Heritage- I will watch this again 5 stars
11/09/04 Paul Boyle Excellent 5 stars
11/08/04 Jack Galloway Beautiful movie. At once tender, warm, tense and exciting. Photographically superb. 5 stars
10/05/04 Gerardo Ferracane Excellent, even better than Mediterraneo 5 stars
7/18/04 Cassandra Farrar disturbing, but fascinating 4 stars
6/11/04 susan excellent, one of the best I've seen 5 stars
6/01/04 Jane Beautiful...Moving...I highly recommend it! 5 stars
5/20/04 Puspa Allamanda I enjoyed it 5 stars
5/19/04 Marlon watch this M. Knight Shamalamdingdong 5 stars
5/16/04 Tea a very emotional, powerful movie. excellent 5 stars
5/12/04 Anna Sannito I enjoyed it 4 stars
5/08/04 de it reminds me of the childhood and those dreams and peaceful life, but just can't go back 5 stars
5/03/04 Ray Super!!! 5 stars
5/03/04 Cesarina Horing Stupendo 5 stars
4/10/04 Monster W. Kung Good movie... 4 stars
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  DVD: 12-Oct-2004



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