At Christmas 2003, New York-based film critic Godfrey Cheshire is visiting his family in North Carolina when his cousin Charlie Silver tells him something startling. Charlie inherited ... See full summary »
At Christmas 2003, New York-based film critic Godfrey Cheshire is visiting his family in North Carolina when his cousin Charlie Silver tells him something startling. Charlie inherited Midway Plantation, the ancestral home of his and Cheshire's extended family, and has been its devoted caretaker. But now Charlie and his wife Dena have made a decision: They want to move Midway - the antebellum manor house and several outbuildings - to a new location to escape Raleigh's encroaching sprawl. Can you really transplant a plantation? Will the "place" be the same if it is uprooted from the soil in which it has stood since 1848? Charlie's plan provokes immediate controversy in Cheshire's tradition-minded family. For Cheshire, it brings back memories of the wild, strange and magical place Midway seemed when he was a child, and of the stories he heard there - stories of his mother's family, the Hintons, settling the area in the early 1700s, fighting in the Revolution, being invaded by Yankee ... Written by
MOVING MIDWAY is the saga of 'Midway Plantation', ancestral home to the family of Godfrey Cheshire, the director of the film. In the winter of 2003 Cheshire learned that his cousin, Charlie, caretaker and owner of the mansion and huge estate is going to move the antebellum home to a new location a few miles away due to intense commercial development in the area. During the preparation for the move, the director is contacted by a black man, Robert Hinton, Associate Director of African-American studies at New York University who turns out to be a blood relative, and this development allows Cheshire to show how the specter of slavery impacted the family legacy. The film examines how family members of both races exchange details of their heritage, and come to terms with the relocation. Cheshire makes the case that much of what is considered 'historical fact' is based on biased opinion and myths which have been deeply influenced by popular culture, and especially Hollywood. The issue of Race is handled with great tact and gentility, however the fundamental component of Class is largely ignored. Although by the close of the film, we are introduced to many of the Black relatives, it is the White family members who have retained ownership of the land, and this is the source of the the family's substantial wealth. I wonder how the tone and content of the film would have changed if somebody had whispered the word, "REPARATION".
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