See Acclaimed & Award-Winning New Movie IDENTIFYING FEATURES for Free!

November 5, 2020 - 2:19pm
Posted by Jim Healy

Identifying Features (Sin Señas Particulares)

UPDATE (12/15/20): We have reached our limit for free viewings of Identifying Features. The movie will be released on the Kino Marquee platform on January 20. Our Cinematalk podcast talk with Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero is still availalble free here.

The Cinematheque’s series of free movies to watch at home is continuing with Identifying Features (Sin Señas Particulares), another powerful new release that was originally scheduled to screen at our Wisconsin Film Festival earlier this year.

IDENTIFYING FEATURES (Mexico, 2020, 94 min., Spanish with English subtitles) tells the story of Magdalena, (Mercedes Hernández), who hasn’t heard from her son Jesús in the two months since he left their small village to cross the border into the U.S. Joined by the recently deported Miguel (David Illescas), Magdalena leads a desperate search for her son, whom the authorities believe to be dead, into some of the most violent and remote territories of present-day Mexico. Crossing rugged landscapes by foot and trying to elude countless armed bandits, Magdalena and Miguel’s odyssey offers an unflinching view of a current, harrowing crisis. Identifying Features is a chilling and artfully told thriller that marks the auspicious feature-length directorial debut of Fernanda Valadez, whose boldly pronounced style includes suspenseful and fluid long takes, a thought-provoking use of focus, and a precision eye for point-of-view and composition. Valadez' co-screenwriter, co-producer, and co-editor is Astrid Rondero, and the filmmakers' talents also include a humanistic touch that bestows characters with an inner life, allowing us to believe they exist beyond the frames of the movie.

“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).

"Signals an exciting arrival by a much-needed voice" (Hollywood Reporter).

Beginning November 5, the Cinematheque has a limited number of opportunities to watch IDENTIFYING FEATURES at home for free. To gain access, send an email addressed to and simply remember to put the title of the movie (IDENTIFYING FEATURES) in the subject line.

On a new episode of our Cinematalk Podcast, our special guests are Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero, who together won the Special Jury Award for Best Screenplay at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Identifying Features premiered at Sundance where the movie also captured the Audience Award in the World Cinema Dramatic category. Listen here to the filmmakers' conversation with the Cinematheque's Jim Healy or subscribe to Cinematalk through Apple Podcasts.