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Moving Midway
Moving Midway
Actors: Godfrey Cheshire, Robert Hinton, Charlie Hinton Silver
Director: Godfrey Cheshire
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 38min

The past is not dead. It's not even past. - William Faulkner — In the days of slavery, before a black man could be elected president, Midway Plantation sat in all its antebellum glory on several hundred verdant acres of pri...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Godfrey Cheshire, Robert Hinton, Charlie Hinton Silver
Director: Godfrey Cheshire
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 02/17/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"A Southern Plantation and the Legacy of Slavery"
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 01/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Moving Midway"

"A Southern Plantation and the Legacy of Slavery"

Amos Lassen

New from First Run Features is "Moving Midway", a family documentary about one of the most controversial icons of American history, the plantation. The film follows the to do when director Godfrey Chesire explores the mythology of the plantation in the cultural history of this country. This happens when his family's plantation home is taken from its foundation and moved several miles to a new location.
In 2004 in the spring, Chesire went home to North Carolina and learned that his cousin, Charlie, who owned the family home, Midway Plantation, wanted to move the building because he was bothered by the growth of the city of Raleigh. Of course this was a controversial decision because of the memories the house contained. There was also a secret that Charlie revealed--it seemed that an African-American man now dead, had provided evidence that there has been a sexual liaison between one of the ancestors and a slave and that the family has an extensive African-American branch.
Interestingly enough, Chesire is led to a Dr. Robert Hinton (same family name as cousin Charlie) who is professor of African-American history at NYU who maintains that his grandfather had been born a slave at Midway. From this chance encounter, the two men begin to investigate the past of the house and Hinton begins an investigation on the impact of the plantation on American history. What is discovered is that the plantation evolved into being an icon that deeply influenced American's concept of race. We see how the plantation played a role in history as a cultural milestone from "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to "Gone With the Wind" to contemporary television mini-series.
When Midway is finally relocated, the party to celebrate the occasion features two different streams of family which had long been separated and the family, like America, is on a journey from the institution of slavery to full reconciliation . The party becomes the first step forward away from an embarrassing past.
The film is both a story and a critique which is full of grace, thought and compassion. We become privy to a secret of the South's gothic past as we learn the fascinating and complicated story of Midway Plantation. We tour the "moonlight and magnolias" traditions of the old South to find that the moon did not always shine brightly and that the magnolias were sometimes quite wilted.
The truth is always more interesting than fiction
2things@once | Chicago, IL | 02/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Film critic Godfrey Cheshire goes behind the camera to capture an important chapter in his family history. It begins in 2004 when his cousin announces that their ancestral home, a plantation house in North Carolina, is going to be moved to a new location and the land sold to a shopping mall developer.

The massive effort that goes into separating a 150-year-old house from the land is just one of many interesting facets to this personal story that touches on the hot-button social issues of race and slavery that this country still grapples with, especially in the South. During the course of the film project documenting the move of the house, Cheshire reaches out to the African-American roots of his family tree, notably Dr. Robert Hinton, a professor at NYU whose grandfather was born into slavery at Midway Plantation. Hinton expresses very different feelings about the plantation house, the land it sits on, and what it means to separate the two.

Moving Midway successfully blends American social history, architecture and a thought-provoking musing on the mythology of the Southern plantation. Threaded throughout is the engaging story of Cheshire's discovery of his unexpected extended family."