51 Birch Street


The filmmaker’s personal story begins when his mother dies unexpectedly. Perplexed by his father’s decision to move to Florida to marry his former secretary, Block realizes that there may be more to his family history than he imagined. What results is an excavation at once literal and figurative, personal and universal, pieced together through snapshots, home movies, and competing family narratives. Perhaps Block’s most significant discovery comes when he uncovers 30 years of his mother’s daily diaries and, for the first time, her personal struggles as a woman, not just his mother, are revealed. Lies and deceit, as well as love and misunderstanding—the timeless themes of marriage and fidelity—are the signposts that guide Block on his journey.  PB


Doug Block


Doug Block, Lori Cheatle

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

88 minutes