Friday, March 25, 2011

The Power of Two - Marc Smolowitz's New Documentary

"The Power Of Two" is a new documentary film based on a remarkable memoir by the Stenzel twins, Anabel Mariko Stenzel (“Ana”) and Isabel Yuriko Stenzel Byrnes.

The film was directed by San Francisco-based Marc Smolowitz, one of the producers of the 2002 documentary "The Weather Underground." The film was edited by Matthew Sultan and Thomas Eugene Green. Gary Coates did color grading. Sound post by Berke Sound.

ZAP supported the filmmakers with post production consultation, HD mastering and deliveries.

The 90 minute documentary was filmed at nearly 20 filming locations, following the Stenzels on their quest to raise consciousness about organ donation in the U.S. and especially in Japan. You can read more about the twins remarkable story at their website.

Here is an excerpt:

The Stenzel Twins

Anabel Mariko Stenzel (“Ana”) and Isabel Yuriko Stenzel Byrnes (“Isa” – pronounced “ee-sah”) are identical twins who were born in Los Angeles in 1972 to Japanese and German immigrant parents. At three days old, Ana and Isa were diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a fatal genetic disease that impacts the lungs and pancreas; their doctor told their parents they would be lucky to live to reach 10 years of age.

For decades, Ana and Isa struggled to maintain their health with rigorous daily respiratory and digestive treatments. Working together, they survived and thrived into adulthood, graduated from college and graduate school, started careers as a genetic counselor (Ana) and social worker (Isa), and developed loving relationships.

In their mid-20s, however, the twins’ health began to decline precipitously. Every breath was difficult. Many of the activities they loved, including hiking and traveling, tried the limits of their stamina. Their passion and will to live remained but CF was relentless.

There is no cure for CF. But, in their darkest hour, when their ability to breathe was leaving them, Ana and Isa received the gift of new life and new breath in the form of double lung transplants in 2000 and 2004, respectively.

Because of the generosity of their organ donors James and Xavier, and their donors’ families, Ana and Isa have survived and are thriving with their new lungs. Their post-transplant activities have included running a half marathon, climbing a 10,000 foot mountain peak, swimming and running in the U.S. Transplant Games, traveling across three continents, and writing their memoir, “The Power of Two: A Twin Triumph Over Cystic Fibrosis,” which the University of Missouri Press published in late 2007.

Ana and Isa’s experience has influenced them to cherish the following values:

1. Each human interaction is a cherished blessing.
2. Illness has great potential to teach awareness and appreciation of life.
3. Life is too short to not appreciate every moment- the good and the bad

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