America Reframed

51 Birch Street

Episode Guide »
Documentary 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 40 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 3 large boxes filled with his moms' daily diaries going back 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 60 years and 3 generations, and weaves together hundreds of faded snapshots, 8mm home movies and two decades of verit? footage. The result is a timeless tale of what can happen when our most fundamental assumptions about family are suddenly called into questio"
 

More...



Comments

Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "America Reframed" here.
 

Vermont PBS educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be lifelong learners and engaged in their community.

Our Productions

Original series, specials, documentaries and web shows produced by Vermont PBS

CEO Holly Groschner is "Talkin' Vermont"

Holly is on a mission to get to know more Vermonters, what inspires them, what makes them tick, and to learn how Vermont PBS can better serve. Watch the video...

PBS favorite hits the Flynn MainStage

Chris Botti and more highlight 2015 Discover Jazz Festival! PBS favorite hits the Flynn MainStage June 14. Vermont PBS recording FlynnSpace shows for later broadcast! 

Vermont Winners!

Check out winning Vermont entries to the 2015 PBS Kids Writers Contest!

Vermont PBS PLUS!

Learn about our second HD broadcast service offering alternative programming and more content from local and regional producers.

Lifelong Learning

Vermont PBS Announces First Recipient of Public Media Ambassador Award

Vermont PBS is pleased to recognize Vermont native Raney Aronson-Rath with its first annual Vermont Public Media Ambassador Award, in recognition of Vermonters whose vision and leadership are advancing the role of public media in the digital age. Read the press release.


Be in the know!

Our Vermont PBS Weekly email newsletter highlights upcoming shows and important station news. Sign Up Today!

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2015 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest