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Fargo Film Festival 2012: The Power of Two Review

Posted by Matthew Liedke on March 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Directed by Marc Smolowitz

~Honorable Mention Documentary Feature~

One of the first major films I got to see at the fest was "The Power of Two." The film is a documentary following the life stories of two twins, Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, who grew up with cystic fibrosis and both miraculously recieved lung transplants, defying many odds.


Throughout the film director Marc Smolowitz takes us inside the lives of not only 'Ana' and 'Isa,' but also into other's who have lived with the disease and are still waiting for a donor as well as differences in cultures when it comes to the idea of doning.


What I thought the documentary did exceptionally well was balance the levels of telling the human experience and it's advocacy. Through the extrodinary story of the Stenzel sisters, the film is able to be both a very emotional story and an eye-opener to those that may have questions on the subject of organ donation.


The film has a good structure by following the sisters as they go from patients to advocates for a cause. One section of the film followed the two sister's trip to Japan, which is part of their heritage. During this time the movie goes into the issues Japan has with it's organ donation policies and the differences it has with American policies.  Once again this section is done well fully exploring the political, medical and emotional sides to the issue.


This was definitely one of my favorites from this years fest. It's story telling is great and it makes for a highly emotional and eye-opening experience.

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