From the Archive: David Barba's XP

The ozone buffers the Earth from solar ultraviolet radiation. Chemicals released by human activities have been depleting the ozone, and one of the effects on human health is an increased incidence of skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, moderating exposure to ultraviolet light is the best way for an individual to protect themselves from developing skin cancer. Extreme light sensitivity afflicts the main character in David Barba’s 10-minute film XP.

XP stands for xeroderma pigmentosum. This is an inherited condition. The young boy in the film XP wants to spend time outside, with kids his own age, but because of his condition has to avoid the outdoors except for at night.

Barba received a Sloan Production Grant to make XP in 2001 from Columbia University. He wrote, directed, and edited the short. Barba is creator of the reality television series BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR which was first broadcast on the Sundance Channel.

XP is available to stream in full below, and is part of the Sloan Science & Film Teacher’s Guide which provides discussion questions, resources, and correlates the film with state and national teaching standards in the sciences. A new edition of the Teacher’s Guide correlated with the 2017 New York City and National Science Standards will be published in September.