A Story of Twin Sisters, Two Cultures, and Two New Chances at Life
A story of twin sisters, two cultures, and two new chances at life.
Inspired by their 2007 memoir, “The Power Of Two” offers an intimate portrayal of the bond between half-Japanese twin sisters Anabel Stenzel and Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, their battle with the fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF) and miraculous survival through double lung transplants. Defying all odds, Ana and Isa have emerged as authors, athletes and global advocates for organ donation, and their connection to the CF and transplant communities provides rare insight into the struggles — and overlooked joys — of chronic illness.
The twins’ receiving new lungs would have been unlikely in their mother’s native country, Japan, where organ donation rates are strikingly low. At the crux of a rising movement to change laws and stigmas, Ana and Isa embark on a tour of Japan to inspire change in the hearts and minds of a culture resistant to transplantation. Featuring archival footage and probing expert interviews, this poignant directorial debut of Academy Award nominated producer Marc Smolowitz (“The Weather Underground”) presents a multi-faceted portrayal of a society at a tipping point around this triumph of modern medicine. Back in the U.S., the twins thrive, rejoicing in their ability to breathe with healthy lungs, sharing their story, mentoring others on the same path, and experiencing unexpected life milestones.
Evocative without being sentimental, “The Power Of Two” reveals the twins not as heroines but as authentic women who share our fears about mortality and inspire us to make a difference.