Sunday, January 26, 2020

Identifying Features (2020) Sundance 2020

A mother's son leaves home to cross into America. He disappears and she goes off to find him. A long the way she meets a young man heading home to his mother after being deported from the US.

This magnificent and haunting film has vexed me since I saw it the first time (I have seen it several times now).  It is not that I have nothing to say about the film, rather how do I talk about what a special and magical film this is? I want to somehow express the awe and wonder that I felt the first time when I simply sighed at the wonder of it all.

The problem with writing on the film, in discussing the  twists and turns of the plot is that it doesn't do the whole package justice. I can talk about the plot but it doesn't explain how the acting and the music and the shot choices not only make the film real but something more than that. In it's way the film is a kind of mythic tale of everyday life. Director Fernanda Valadez has fashioned a story that not only gets under our skin but reveals a greater truth about the world today.

This truly is filmmaking and storytelling at the highest level- so much so that instead of reviewing IDENTIFYING FEATURES I simply want to press a ticket in to all you hands and say "just watch this"

One of the best films at Sundance

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