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51 Birch Street

NOW ON DVD

Read the Reviews

"Block has made a sad, delightful and half-accidental movie about his own parents which was the outstanding personal documentary at this year's (SXSW) festival... Profound and humane."

– Andrew O’Hehir, SALON.COM

Linda Castorini (age 55)

This show effected me in this way, where it brought up memories I need to continue to fight for what is mine.
here is my story:
I would like to see and find my older brother. Yes my older brother. He was born Sept 30, 1950. In Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn NY. ( now called Brookdale Hospital)
Before my mother died in 2005, she told me to find him, that “He was switched at birth.” My mother had a hard pregnancy and they gave her baby to a Spanish woman in the next room, between the cloths hanging from the ceiling. My mother overheard the woman’s husband saying to her “Do not come home unless you have a son”. There were according to my mother about six people there who had children she could not remember how many boys.
My mother heard her son cry. Then the doctor along with my aunt and grandmother ,father told my mother and father that the baby had died. My mother wailed and screamed she yelling the doctor gave her a shot a sedative to calm her down…. But my mother when she woke up she saw her son in the arms of another woman!  The other woman’s baby had died. She was yelling out loud. He killed my baby…. And then a few moments later my brother was in her arms.
They told my mom he died and they buried the other womans baby which they told my mother it was her son in potter’s field on Hart Island, Just outside of New York City.
Why I want to find him? To give me back my brother to our family. That would be the greatest present you can give me. I do not want a toy or a car or all the money in the world. I want to see him.
My brother …. Our last name is Valentino. My mother’s name was Paula and my fathers name was Vincent, my mother had another son when this baby was born. My mother was born in Italy and my father in Brooklyn.
I would very much love to find him, just to see him one time. To allow me closure in my life. I owe this to my mom and the memory for all these years she could not find him because of her lack in knowledge to find him. I have searched for him for nearly forty years, but I am without luck right now.
Help me find my brother. I would love you forever and my heart breaks for not finding him.
All I want to do is just see him.
Thanks Linda.

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