Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Sandra has always had a fascination with death. It speaks to her. She feels a desire to be close to it, smell it, touch it. As a child, Sandra performed bizarre burial rituals in the woods with dead animals. But what began as a childhood interest becomes an adult obsession. She takes a job in a funeral parlor, where she can indulge her curiosity by being near the corpses. However, complications arise when she begins dating a medical student intent on understanding her desires.

Lynne Stopkewich’s debut feature Kissed is a tantalizing, sensual exploration of a young woman’s unusual journey into the haunting world of necrophilia. The film adeptly walks a fine line, never writing the lead character off as insane and instead portraying her as having a highly unusual sense of the world. Yet her fetish is only one facet of her existence; Sandra is still able to function in the world. This delicate balance forces the viewer to reexamine preconceptions about the boundaries of what is normal and acceptable. Molly Parker gives an invigorating, often breathtaking, performance which simply radiates off the screen. The striking cinematography and perfectly suited music add atmosphere to the film.

— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email