City Paper is not for tourists
Early in Sun Kissed, we expect Leandra, a young Navajo girl with a genetic disorder called XP, will die. Her brother, who also suffered from this neurodegenerative condition that causes skin cancer from exposure to sunlight, passed at 11. But this early discovery isn’t important; instead it’s the journey her parents Yolanda and Dorey go through to discover why their family and a surprising number of others on their reservation have children with XP. Their tradition tells them it’s retribution for their own youthful mistreatment of nature, while a disturbing history of brutality against their people informs them otherwise. What’s stirring is not the film’s slow reveal of the haunting consequences of colonization, but how Dorey and Yolanda come to terms with the cause of their children’s disease and inevitable deaths.