‘Identifying Features’ Review: Lost in Migration

‘Identifying Features’ Review: Lost in Migration

‘Figuring out Options’ Overview: Misplaced in Migration

The drama “Figuring out Options” begins with a determine approaching from throughout a discipline, his look obscured by a heavy fog: maybe he’s a soldier, perhaps a farmer. It turns into clear solely when he’s just a few toes away that the person within the mist is de facto only a boy. As his face emerges, with clean cheeks and chilly eyes, the wonder, elusiveness and shock of the movie round him surfaces, too.

With calm conviction, this teenager, Jesús (Juan Jesús Varela), proclaims his plans to cross the border from Mexico to Arizona. Jesús’s mom, Magdalena (Mercedes Hernández), explains in a voice-over that that is one in all her final reminiscences of Jesús earlier than he went lacking on his journey to achieve the USA.

The film follows Magdalena as she makes an attempt to observe her misplaced son’s path, and her quest quickly spills over into the plains close to the place Jesús was final seen. There, she meets Miguel (David Illescas), a younger man returning to his household after being deported from the USA. As they hunt collectively for his or her lacking kinfolk, every acts as the opposite’s surrogate household, a makeshift son for a makeshift mom.

Although it’s a somber story, the movie is enlivened and energized by putting, purposeful photos. The author-director Fernanda Valadez builds depth inside her frames by staging motion within the background and making liberal use of offscreen sound. Site visitors glows from border highways, villains loom from the shadows. There at all times appears to be motion occurring simply outdoors of the characters’ visual field, occasions that develop with out their understanding. It’s a assured debut characteristic, and a complicated acknowledgment of the powerlessness that migrants face.

Figuring out Options
Not rated. In Spanish, Zapotec and English, with subtitles. Operating time: 1 hour 35 minutes. In theaters and on Kino Marquee. Please seek the advice of the rules outlined by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention earlier than watching films inside theaters.

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