A mother travels across Mexico in search for her son whom authorities say died while trying to cross the borders into the United States.


Fernanda Valadez
13 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mercedes Hernández Mercedes Hernández ... Magdalena
David Illescas David Illescas ... Miguel
Juan Jesús Varela Juan Jesús Varela ... Jesús
Ana Laura Rodríguez Ana Laura Rodríguez ... Olivia
Armando García Armando García ... Rigo
Laura Elena Ibarra Laura Elena Ibarra ... Chuya
Juan Pablo Acevedo Juan Pablo Acevedo ... Agente Ministerio Público
Xicoténcatl Ulloa Xicoténcatl Ulloa ... Pedro
Jessica Martínez García Jessica Martínez García ... Enfermera
María Luisa Juárez María Luisa Juárez ... Químico Forense
Ricardo Luna Ricardo Luna ... Agente estatal
Julieta Rodríguez Julieta Rodríguez ... Técnico Forense
Iker Valadez Urtaza Iker Valadez Urtaza ... Diego, de niño
Susan Korda Susan Korda ... Agente ICE
Jorge Escalante Jorge Escalante ... Vendedor Central Autobuses


Months after Jesús (Juan Jesús Varela) set out on foot for the U.S. with a friend from their rural town in Guanajuato, Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her beloved adolescent son. Determined to unravel his fate, Magdalena soon finds herself in over her head, entangled in an expansive crime syndicate and labyrinth of disorienting lies on an increasingly surreal journey to uncover the truth. At the mercy of those with the power and courage to help her find closure, Magdalena's path fortuitously converges with that of Miguel (David Illescas), a young man not unlike her son Jesús, returning from U.S. deportation. Ensconced within the realm of magical-realism while exhibiting remarkable restraint, IDENTIFYING FEATURES is an impressive, symbolic re-imagining of a culture adrift and seeking spiritual reunification. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience and Screenplay Awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Written by Mae Moreno

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User Reviews

Very different from what you expect
11 April 2021 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Sin señas particulares (2020) is a Mexican film shown in the U. S. with the title "Identifying Features." (The literal Spanish translation is "No Particular Signs.") The movie was co-written and directed by Fernanda valadez.

The film stars Mercedes Hernandez as a mother trying to find her son. He has left home with a friend to try to cross the border into the U. S. The friend is dead, and her son's backpack has been found. However, her son's body has not been discovered.

The trailer for this film shows the truth, but not the whole truth. We know immediately that this will be a difficult and desperate search. The question for us is whether she will find him.

However, the movie itself is much more than that. It holds your attention from start to finish, and the plot is not simply what you expect.

Mercedes Hernandez is a superb actor. Fernanda valadez knows how to utilize the skills of Hernandez to their best effect. (The editing is sometimes jarring, but the plot sorts itself out each time.)

We saw this movie on the small screen, where it worked well. We watched it as a screening from the DC Labor FilmFest. Identifying Features has a solid 7.4 IMDb rating. I thought it was even better than that, and rated it 9.

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Mexico | Spain

Release Date:

15 January 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Identifying Features See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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