Identifying Features


Fernanda Valadez • 95 min. • Mexico

Regular ticket € 9,50
Discount with Rotterdampas, Cineville, CJP € 4,75
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It’s been two months since Magdalena’s son Jesus left Mexico together with his friend Ringo for a better life in the United States and she hasn’t heard from him since.
At the police station she is shown a binder with photographs of departed bodies and limbs. Ringo is in it, Jesus not. Determined, she decides to go find him. 

At an identification centre closer to the border, she is recommended to sign for his death certificate but after talking to another mother who has been waiting for her son for four years, she refuses. With a few new hints from informants her journey continues across rural Mexico, the wilderness too desolate to guarantee her safety. On her way she meets Miguel, who is deported from the US, and who is on his way to his mother. She lives in a border village but upon their arrival they find out it has been assaulted by gang violence.

Breathtaking shots of Mexican landscapes are alternated by a constant threat for cartel violence. Storage containers loaded with death bodies covered with black plastic illustrate the severity of the human trafficking crisis that concerns all classes of Mexican families.With her debut feature length film Fernanda Valadez won two awards at Sundance 2020: the Audience Award and Special Jury Award for Best Screenplay in the World Cinema Dramatic competition.

English subtitles

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