Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Supersize Me Backwards

"You can't win today's game with yesterday's pitches." This is a drop of wisdom from Frank Ferrante. What does he mean? He means that in order to succeed and have the happy, healthy life he desires he must renew his spiritual connection everyday. And just how did a 55 year-old, ex-addict from Brooklyn come to this revelation?

Watch May I Be Frank? for the answer. May I Be Frank? is an independent film conceived by Ryalnd Engelhart, Conor Gaffney, and Cary Mosier. The idea for the film took shape when Frank Ferrante walked into Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco, CA. Ryland struck up a conversation with Frank and soon learned what the overweight and sick Ferrante wanted more than anything. He wanted to fall in love one more time.

Ryland asked Frank if he'd be part of an experiment. He told him that he could help him better his life in 42 days by switching him to a raw food diet and teaching him to think abundantly. Frank's reaction was something like, "Yeah, right." But something inside of him said to give in to the process.

Josey Duncan writes an inspiring article in Ode Magazine about Frank's journey to health. It wasn't easy and at the end of Engelhart's filming they had to surrender to the fact that outcomes are not predictable. Granted, Frank was forty pounds lighter, rebuilding past relationships, and had reversed his Hepatitis C diagnosis but he wasn't healed yet.

During the year after the filming Frank became addicted to prescription pain killers and backslid into isolation and depression. It took another 12 step program to finally bring the epiphany Ferrante needed. These days, he is working on his master's degree in humanities, does volunteer work and has been clean of all "mind altering substances" for over a year. He feels healthy and his eyes sparkled when he told Josie, "My life is good. It's free of drama." Then in true Frank form he added, "Probably because it's free of a girlfriend, too. I'm still looking for her."

Engelhart hopes to have May I Be Frank? ready for screening at the Sundance Film Festival in September. This is one movie I would love to see. Frank is a testament to life itself. What was his epiphany, you may ask?

When Frank moaned I don't know why I'm not dead yet, his counselor looked him squarely in the eyes and answered, "The real question isn't why aren't you dead, it's why are you alive?"

That would wake anyone up to the possibility that they are worth the effort of finding out.

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