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51 Birch Street


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"Wonderful... a loving, painful map of the gulf between thought and word, between word and deed, that props up good marriages, and sends bad ones to hell."

– Ella Taylor, LA WEEKLY

John Bottomley (age 47)

I think that my father was and is one of the smartest men of his generation. As I near my fifties I can only now catch glimpses into his thoughts as he enters his mid-eighties. With such great awareness and mental agility came great suffering, suffering that was to define his life and ours.

He was a life-long engineer. I sell Hawaiian shirts. I fled the hidden alcoholism and crushing domination of our onw 51 Birch Street until I wound up in Honolulu. With time, our mindsets have begun to parallel more and more.

Films like 51 Birch Street appeal to me. Deeply intimate and honest, they help confirm what we have experienced through the two humanly flawed people who created, then raised us.

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