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POV | Sun Kissed

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Trailer A rare genetic disorder changes a Navajo family

Watch Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7pm on WORLD.

When a Navajo couple discover that their children have Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disorder that makes any exposure to sunlight fatal, they learn that their reservation is a hotbed for this disease. Why? Sun Kissed follows Dorey and Yolanda Nez as they confront cultural taboos, tribal history and their own unconventional choices to learn the shocking truth: The consequences of the Navajos’ “Long Walk” — their forced relocation by the U.S. military in 1864 — are far from over. 

As modern Navajos, Dorey and Yolanda are in a tug of war between Navajo traditional healing ways and Western medicine, neither of which is able to save their children. Adding to their troubles, they are unable to talk with their families or community about their situation due to traditional taboos about discussing illness and disease. They are left to deal with the tragic reality of their children’s impending death alone. 

What Dorey and Yolanda find challenges the core of their identity and everything they believe in, and exposes a fresh perspective on the complex, cross-cultural identity of modern day Navajos. Focusing on the continuing implications of American colonialism and the genetic imprints it has left on this community, Sun Kissed presents a rare and realistic window into the issues confronting Native Americans today.

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