Children of the Night, Children of the Moon or Children of the Dark are names used for referring to children suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic disease in which the affected children cannot be exposed to sunlight, which can be fatal for them. This disease have been explored in a few films: Children of the Dark (a made-for-TV film), Dark Side of the Sun, a direct-to-DVD film and, finally, a mainstream film depicting children with this disease, The Others, an acclaimed and award-winning film directed by Alejandro Amenábar, starring Nicole Kidman as Grace, Fionnula Flanagan as Bertha and Alakina Mann and James Bentley as the children1. In The Others, Grace, the mother, and her two children Anna and Nicholas live in a big, dark, almost empty house. Later, we find out that the children cannot be exposed to the sun, so they only play inside the house, which has been emptied of superfluous furniture for the children to have more space in which to run around. The mother employs a new maid (Bertha) and two other new servants, and a series of events occur in such a way that the family, and the audience, begins to believe that the house is haunted. This article focuses on the depiction of children with xeroderma pigmentosum as represented in this film and how the film's approach and description of the disease match with the reality that families with affected children find every day.

This content is only available as a PDF.