Moving Midway Image
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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Godfrey Cheshire's richly observed film about his family's Southern plantation - and the colossal feat of moving it to escape urban sprawl - is a thoughtful and witty look at the lingering remnants and still-powerful mythology of plantation culture and the antebellum South. An award-winningGodfrey Cheshire's richly observed film about his family's Southern plantation - and the colossal feat of moving it to escape urban sprawl - is a thoughtful and witty look at the lingering remnants and still-powerful mythology of plantation culture and the antebellum South. An award-winning film critic turned film maker, Cheshire uses the relocation of his family's North Carolina plantation house to embark on a surprising and multi-layered journey. While observing the elaborate, arcane preparations for moving a centuries-old house over fields and a rock quarry, unexpected human drama - from both the living and the dead - emerges. And a chance encounter leads Cheshire and his cousins to discover a previously unknown African American branch of the family (who have their own take on Midway and its legacy). Through the use of movies and music, and by turning the camera on himself and his family, Cheshire examines the Southern plantation in American history and culture, and how the racial legacy from the past continues into the present. (First Run Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Maureen M. Hart
    100
    In its 98 minutes, film critic Godfrey Cheshire’s documentary Moving Midway records an amazing architectural feat, and that’s the least of its virtues.
  2. In Moving Midway, Cheshire chronicles not only the history of the move but also of the family members, past and present, who occupied the place, and, most pointedly, the slaves who worked its fields, some of whom turn out to be related.
  3. 90
    May not advance any grand new thesis about the South and its history, but it turns an old house into a rich and strange repository of local knowledge.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    80
    His engaging chronicle of the physical, historical and psychological effect of the undertaking, is also an invitation for a film buff to meditate on the antebellum South's mythic power in stories and film.
  5. 75
    This is a deceptive film. It starts in one direction and discovers a better one. Cheshire is a dry, almost dispassionate narrator, and that is good; preaching about his discoveries would sound wrong.
  6. 75
    The oddly compelling documentary Moving Midway is an engineering tale combined with a family history and a ghost story.
  7. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    60
    Uniquely Southern documentary has become surprisingly timely this election year.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

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