A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
Michele is a 10-year-old boy whose summer is unfolding as one perfect day after another. He lives in a rural district in southern Italy, and spends his days exploring the countryside with his friends. One day they go poking about an old abandoned house, and later he returns alone to look for his sister's lost glasses. In the yard he finds a slab of sheet metal, and when he lifts it up he sees, at the bottom of a pit, a leg sticking out from under a blanket.
Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano) lets the covering slam down, and races for home. He doesn't tell anyone what he has seen. Returning again, he discovers that the pit holds a small boy named Filippo (Mattia Di Pierro), who is chained. On the television news Michele will learn that Filippo has been kidnapped.
"I'm Not Scared" tells its story mostly through Michele's eyes. He is just at that age when he has glimmers of understanding about adult life, but still lives within the strange logic of childhood. A year or two older, and he might have known to call the police. But no. Filippo becomes his secret, and he visits him frequently, bringing him bread to eat. It is almost as if he takes pride of possession.
We learn that Michele's father, Pino (Dino Abbrescia) is involved in the kidnapping, along with a friend named Sergio (Diego Abatantuono). Sergio has recently returned from Brazil, is clearly a criminal, is capable of violence. But Michele comes to understand this only gradually. His father is a figure of awe to him, a truck driver whose visits home are great occasions for Michele, his sister, and his mother Anna (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). The father is tall and strong and enveloped in a cloud of cigarette smoke, and his conversations with Sergio contain hints of menace.