Thursday, September 20, 2007

dvd pick of the week

On the street where they live: There's a documentary that was released this week that asks the question "How well do you know your parents?" It also goes on to ask "How well would you like to know them?" These two questions are explored in the documentary 51 Birch Street which mostly takes place in the titular Long Island home.

Filmed, directed and narrated by only son Doug Block, the film starts out with Mina Block, the matriarch of the family and it starts out as a documentary about Doug's father, Mike. Soon, however, a family tragedy and the remarriage of Mike becomes the impetus for the film to focus mainly on Mina and the life that Doug and her two sisters knew nothing about.

Featuring candid and personal interviews with the family, including uncle Josh who offers up a music video of his song I Flunk Adultery, the film follows the 54 year marriage of Mike and Mina and reveals things that were well hidden from the Block children. The secrets are revealed in diaries that Mina kept for a number of years. It's really a poignant, revealing and thought provoking documentary that deserves to be watched.

As Doug works to come to terms with the new view of his mother, father and of his own life and marriage, he narrates one of the most profound statements in the film, "Is there just one person that's perfect for you?" He answers no. He goes on to comment, "It's not a matter of finding a perfect companion. I think it's a matter of making accommodations so that it works out for both of you." That's the crux of any relationship; both parties finding accommodations so that it survives.

The film has touched people literally all over the world and don't miss the extras on the dvd which include the I Flunk Adultery music video and also how the Block family react to the film and it's premiere.

Vomit scene: No



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