Though it looks idyllic, something's rotten in the southern Italian landscape. This is apparent from I'm Not Scared's opening scene, in which you're struck by the cruelty of children's games. When one child, Michele, discovers another abused and hidden in a dirt cellar, it's not quite surprising; when the hidden child turns out to be a kidnapping victim it's almost a relief. (You have been thinking that these people are capable of anything--including raising a child in the dark for kicks.)
It is rather unpleasant to watch a movie about mostly unpleasant people, but Michele's naive heroism is magnetic.