Program
Director: Fernanda Valadez
2020
Mexico, Spain
97 minutes
Unclassified 18+

“a visionary work of devastating power.” (Sight & Sound)

With this her first feature, director Fernanda Valadez was hailed at Sundance as a major new talent for the urgency of her voice and its enhancement through strikingly original imagery. Magdalena’s son has left their central Mexican home to cross the border in the hope of finding work in the US. When he vanishes, she embarks on a perilous journey to re-trace his path through the desolate and militia-ridden borderlands to discover his fate. With Trump’s vicous politicisation of illegal immigration, this film tells it from the southern side of the border and with a woman’s perspective.

“a compelling subject and some powerful scenes… Identifying Features is impressive in many ways, from its strong naturalistic performances to the vivid sense of dislocation and vulnerability felt by the principal characters in dangerous or unfamiliar surroundings.” (Variety)

“Valadez signals her arrival as a young filmmaker, unapologetically both Mexican and female, with well-earned confidence in her artistic voice.” (Hollywood Reporter)
“there’s plenty to admire in this sad, contemplative journey into the heart of darkness.” (Film Threat)

Film Type Feature Fiction
Program Strand Contemporary World Cinema
Language Spanish
Subtitles English
Director Fernanda Valadez
Producer Astrid Rondero, Fernanda Valadez, Jack Zagha, Yossy Zagha
Screenwriters Fernanda Valadez, Astrid Rondero
Cinematographer Claudia Becerril
Editor Fernanda Valadez, Astrid Rondero, Susan Korda
Music Clarice Jensen
Cast Mercedes Hernández, David Illescas, Juan Jesús Varela
Accolades Sundance, Audience Award and Best Screenplay, Dramatic Film, World Cinema, 2020; Kiev, Grand Prix Award, 2020; San Sebastien, 2020
Genre Drama, Latino, Magical Realism