After his mother died and his father quickly remarried, filmmaker Doug Block went to visit his childhood home for the last time, as it was being emptied and put up for sale. He ended up spending two years making 51 Birch Street, an extensive examination of his parents’ lives and relationship. The film opens in NYC and LA Oct. 18:
… I walked inside and saw our entire family history being packed away in boxes and it all hit me like a punch in the stomach: although I hadn’t lived there in over 30 years, on some very primal level I still thought of this place as my home.
It soon became apparent that my father, who never talks about himself, was not just willing but was eager to talk. And that my camera was facilitating the conversation by allowing me to ask the difficult questions I could never have asked otherwise. I saw a unique opportunity to get to know my father better, so I decided to keep coming back.