Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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FILM OF THE WEEK: THE POWER OF TWO

August 19, 2011 , , , , , , , , , ,

THE POWER OF TWO is the inspirational tale of twins who refuse to let a disabling and life-shortening illness get in the way of their quest for a better life. Isabel “Isa” Stenzel and Anabel “Ana” Stenzel are biracial twin sisters both born with cystic fibrosis and gifted with “gaman” – the japanese word for perseverance, which has helped them thrive despite their  disease. The sisters present a picture of resilience, fortitude and a window into a life with cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that causes a thick, sticky mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. In the lungs, this mucus blocks the airways, causing lung damage and making it hard to breathe. There is  no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, for many CF sufferers, including the twins, lung transplantation is the only route to survival.  They felt called to action by their life-saving double lung transplants and they strive to help those still in need of organ transplants and those suffering from Cystic Fibrosis live improved lives.

The Power of Two, directed by Marc Somolowitz, is a documentary that was inspired by the Stenzel’s memoir (“The Power of Two: A twin Triumph over Cystic Fibrosis”). It is not only an affectionate, passionate and insightful story that takes the viewer in several directions: first into the  personal lives of the twins and the constant medical care they undertake but also their crusade in Japan where CF is rare and organ transplantation is a cultural taboo.  Despite being a wealthy nation with sophisticated medical care, Japan has the lowest rate of organ donation among developed nations due to religious and cultural beliefs as well as ethical concerns tainting the first heart transplant in Japan. At the crux of a rising movement to change laws and stigmas, Ana and Isa embark on a 10 city tour of Japan to inspire change in the hearts and minds of a culture resistant to transplantation.

Though organ donation is much more common in the United States when compared to Japan, recent statistics show that 110,000 Americans currently need life saving organ transplants.  On an average 18 men, women and children die each day while waiting for an organ. Only 37% of American, 18 and over are registered donors. The tale of Ana and Isa shows people what those donated organs can do and reminds us that saying ‘yes’ to organ donation can have profound impact on many lives.

The film premieres theatrically in Los Angeles for a week on August 19th, then in New York for a week on August 26th and will continue through out the country in select cities through late October.

PS: The Daily Gift App was developed as a part of the film’s Outreach and Engagement Campaign, it focuses on sharing organ donation and transplantation stories and inspiring people to become organ donors.

Source: The Power of Two Docuweeks Media Advisory (PDF), Official Press Notes (PDF)
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