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51 Birch Street

51 Birch Street
1:30:00 | 2006

Categories: Documentary, Biography, Festivals, Award Winning

Filmmaker Doug Block had every reason to believe his parent's 54-year marriage was a good one. So he isn't prepared when, just a few months after his mothers' unexpected death, his 83-year old father Mike phones to announce that he's moving to Florida to live with Kitty, his secretary from forty years before. Always close to his mother and equally distant from his father, he's stunned and suspicious. When Mike and Kitty marry and sell the longtime family home, Doug returns to suburban Long Island with camera in hand for one last visit. And there, among the lifetime of memories being packed away forever, he discovers three large boxes filled with his mom's diaries going back over 35 years. Realizing he has only a few short weeks before the movers come and his dad will be gone for good, the veteran documentarian sticks around, determined to investigate the mystery of his parents' marriage. Through increasingly candid conversations with family members and friends, and constantly surprising diary revelations, Doug finally comes to peace with two parents who are far more complex and troubled than he ever imagined. Both unexpectedly funny and heartbreaking, 51 BIRCH STREET is the first-person account of Block's unpredictable journey through a whirlwind of dramatic life-changing events: the death of his mother, the uncovering of decades of family secrets, and the ensuing reconciliation with his father. What begins as his own intimate, autobiographical story, soon evolves into a broader meditation on the universal themes of love, marriage, fidelity and the mystery of family. 51 BIRCH STREET spans sixty years and three generations, and weaves together hundreds of faded snapshots, 8mm home movies and two decades of verité footage. The result is a timeless tale of what can happen when our most fundamental assumptions about family are suddenly called into question.

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Reviews: A- 158 Fans
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Comments

null
d********m
June 12, 2015
great
C.S. O'Briem
b********m
April 23, 2015
Marci Brisbois Heine
l********m
April 7, 2015
A-
Sandra Bak
b********t
March 30, 2015
A+++
DEIDRE
t********t
March 15, 2015
A+
Danny Jock
d********m
February 2, 2015
A+
null
w********m
January 5, 2015
null
w********m
January 5, 2015
tracy ofri
t********m
November 27, 2014
A
Susan Carmichael User
s********m
November 22, 2014
A
Kylie Woodard
k********m
November 13, 2014
A
A testament to love had and love lost, marriage isn't ever easy.
Shannon Santana
s********m
September 1, 2014
A
Paula Qualliotine
p********m
August 19, 2014
A
J Rodriguez
j********m
August 15, 2014
A+
Mary Roush
m********m
June 1, 2014
A
This film was simply extraordinary. Made me reflect again on my parent's strained marriage and on each of them as individuals simply seeking fulfillment and happiness in their own ways. It was beautifully and sensitively done. By the end, I felt I "knew" each of these people.
Bill
b********m
February 26, 2014
A+
Niam
n********m
February 23, 2014
A
Minna Valle
c********m
February 22, 2014
A
A very real picture of life ... Not prettied up but told in a way that pulled me into the story and made me feel a part of what was happening. Well worth watching.
Christopher Jones
c********m
February 15, 2014
C+
Karen Bryans
k********k
January 26, 2014
A
Deeply moving. I began watching with a strong prejudice, a disapproval, and then had all those smug assumptions pitched onto their heads. Long after the film ended, I was still asking of myself the uncomfortable questions it raised. The very best kind of documentary... A slice of real life that has made me think and think.
Betty May
e********m
January 25, 2014
D
maryanne rice
m********m
January 25, 2014
A
Philip Nations
p********m
January 24, 2014
B+
Tiane Harrison
t********m
January 24, 2014
B+
Cheryl Anne Harper
c********m
January 22, 2014
D
Sue Mosk
s********m
January 22, 2014
A