51 Birch Street (2005)

Genres - Culture & Society, Family & Personal Relationships  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Interpersonal Relationships, Marriage & Commitment  |   Release Date - Oct 18, 2006 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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When documentary filmmaker Doug Block's mother dies unexpectedly and his 83-year-old father reveals plans to move to Florida with his onetime secretary shortly thereafter, the confused son travels to his childhood time to seek out the secrets of his parent's presumably happy 55-year marriage in a film that explores just what happens when everything you think you knew about your family is suddenly thrown into question. As a child Block always assumed that his parents were content in their relationship, but as close as he was to his mother growing up, his father remained a constant mystery. Now the home he grew up in is suddenly on the market, and in order to seek out the secrets of his family history Block will travel to Long Island, camera in hand, to peel away decades of secrecy. As 60 years and three generations of carefully guarded secrets finally come into focus with the discovery of his mother's detailed diary, Block's fundamental assumptions about the lives of his parents gradually give way to a poignant meditation on the themes of fidelity, love, and marriage while revealing that the relationship shared between his mother and father was much more complicated than he ever imagined.

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Keywords

death-in-family, diary, family-secrets, father, fidelity, home-movies, life-changes, marriage, memory, mother, mystery [enigma], reconciliation