The Danish Dogme genre had me pondering, not for the first time, the difference between television and cinema. Investment, obviously, but, imagining a perfect world, is there anything else?

The Italian film, Io Non Ho Paura (I’m Not Scared), is a glorious example of the cinematic. Even on the tiny iPad, there’s an experience of sumptuousness.

io non ho pauraTo begin with there’s the scenery, the immense prairy-like wheat field. A synopsis described this as the co-star as it featured so prominently throughout the film. Accompanied by the soundtrack of chirruping insects, the wide blue and gold swathes of sky over corn impress upon us the heat of an Italian midsummer.

The drama takes place in 1978, in a small rural community of families. Young Michele is one of a small gang of village kids who spend their summer doing what ordinary gangs of kids do. Play, get up to mischief, bully, tease, reinforce friendships and fall out. After a day racing over to a remote, abandoned building, Michele’s little sister realises she’s left her spectacles behind. Having been in his charge, Michele goes back alone to retrieve them and uncovers a disturbing secret. Initially fearing the find as being something ghoulish, he challenges himself to overcome his fear and return to the scene. Later, the discovery seems to be connected to the recent odd behaviour of the village adults, including his own parents, and a sinister stranger who comes to stay. Gradually, Michele is being torn between doing what he sees as the right thing and his obligations to his father and family.

20130107-221300.jpgThe acting from the young cast is superb, and the story has pace, elements of suspense and a couple of jolting moments to shake us.
A fabulous film. Watch it as soon as you get the chance.

Io Non Ho Paura, 2003


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