Benedictine president's documentary film to be shown

  • Michael Brophy, president of Benedictine University in Lisle, wrote and directed the documentary film "Night for Day: The XP Story," about how people cope with a rare disease characterized by extreme sensitivity to the sun that can lead to cancer and death.

      Michael Brophy, president of Benedictine University in Lisle, wrote and directed the documentary film "Night for Day: The XP Story," about how people cope with a rare disease characterized by extreme sensitivity to the sun that can lead to cancer and death. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
By Elizabeth Brown
Benedictine University
Posted2/22/2017 1:49 PM

Can you imagine living a life hiding from the sun?

In his 2005 film "Night for Day: The XP Story," Benedictine University President Michael S. Brophy, an award-winning writer and director, examines the dramatic and unusual ways patients afflicted with xeroderma pigmentosum around the world cope with the debilitating disease characterized by extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet (sun) light that can lead to cancer and death.

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Film participants include citizens from Cuba, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States. The film will be shown from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, in Goodwin Hall Auditorium at Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle.

The screening is free, and a Q&A will follow.

XP is caused by mutations in genes that repair DNA, which can be damaged by ultraviolet light and toxic chemicals such as those found in cigarette smoke. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this inherited skin disorder usually appears in infancy or early childhood. Without sun protection, about half the children with this disorder develop their first skin cancer by age 10.

Roughly 30 percent of those with XP develop neurological abnormalities such as hearing loss, difficulty walking, swallowing and talking, loss of intellectual function and seizures. In the United States, this rare condition is estimated to affect about one in 1 million people.

An accomplished filmmaker, Brophy has written and directed three feature films: "Tina and Lance," selected to the Mannheim-Heidelberg (Germany), Philadelphia and Temecula Valley film festivals, and winner of the Best Feature Award at New York's Capital Film Festival; "Victoria Pool," selected to the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh; and "Father Brown," a finalist for the 2001 Independent Feature Project Market screenwriting award.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

His films have been screened at festivals, museums, theaters, foundations and universities throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has written screenplay adaptations of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov," Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks" for Tat Films in Germany, and Carole Maso's novel "Defiance," which was selected to the 2002 Independent Feature Project Market in New York.

A Fulbright exchange scholarship recipient who has taught and conducted research in Europe and Cuba, Brophy led the Marymount California University campus before becoming Benedictine's 11th president in August 2015. He has also served as the campus executive officer, dean and associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin's Baraboo campus, and as associate provost at Long Island University.

For more information, contact www.ben.edu.