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Identifying Features

Drama 1h 39m 2019 Mexico, Spain

Price: $11.99 + taxes and fees

Bonus Content: Rental includes a 32-minute Q&A with director Fernanda Valadez, screenwriter Astrid Rondero, and TIFF’s Senior Director of Film, Diana Sanchez. Scroll down to watch.

Fernanda Valadez’s lyrical yet suspenseful debut feature follows a Mexican mother’s search for her son, who vanished en route to find work in the US.

“We should be seeing a lot more from Valadez for years to come, and contemporary Mexican cinema will be all the better for it.” –Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter

“Middle-aged Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him — and to know whether or not he’s even alive — she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel (David Illescas) has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually his path converges with Magdalena’s. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience and Screenplay Awards at the Sundance Film Festival” (Film at Lincoln Center).

Content advisories: violence, mature themes


Fernanda Valadez





Bonus Content



In conversation with the creative team behind IDENTIFYING FEATURES as part of TIFF’s Reel Talk programme.

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