Friday, September 12, 2008

Moving Midway

Moving Midway
   Genres: Documentary
Released: September 12, 2008
Director: Godfrey Cheshire
Distributor: First Run Features
Starring:Elizabeth Cheshire, Godfrey Cheshire, Robert Hinton

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Built in 1848, Midway Plantation was for many years one of the most celebrated homes in the Raleigh, NC area -- an antebellum mansion that stood as a reminder of the style and traditions of the old South. However, in late 2003, Charlie Silver, who had inherited the estate, made a decision that took many by surprise -- troubled by the encroaching urban sprawl, Silver decided to move the mansion and its outbuildings to a new and more peaceful location. Charlie and wife Dena planned to finance the relocation by selling roughly a third of vacant property to developers, but not everyone in his family supported this notion; the land had been owned by Silver's kin since 1740, and some relatives felt Midway should remain on its native soil. Film critic Godfrey Cheshire, who is Charlie's cousin, decided to make a film about the role of Southern plantations in American history, popular culture, and society, as well as the difficult project of moving the mansion. While documenting the relocation, Charlie and Godfrey became aware of a previously unknown chapter in their family's history; their great-great grandfather Charles Lewis Hinton, who built Midway, fathered a child with an African-American slave living on the property. As a consequence, Cheshire discovers the existence of dozens of African-American cousins who have their own perspective on Midway's legacy. Moving Midway offers a look at the nuts and bolts of moving a piece of North Carolina history, as well as the people whose lives are rooted in its past, and includes extensive interviews with Robert Hinton, Associate Director of African-American studies at New York University, whose family has roots in Midway. Moving Midway received its world premiere at the 2007 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

From msnmovie

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