Moving Midway - A Documentary by Godfrey Cheshire


Abraham Lincoln Hinton, one of the real-life stars of Moving Midway, turns 100 on December 15, 2009! 

Abraham was born in Wake County in 1909, the year America was celebrating the 100th birthday of his namesake, the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. During Abraham’s early years, he was close to his paternal grandfather, Ruffin Hinton, the mixed-race son of North Carolina Treasurer Charles Lewis Hinton and Selanie Toby, an enslaved plantation cook. Born in 1848, the year that Charles Lewis built Midway Plantation outside of Raleigh, Ruffin passed to his grandson the memory of his black and white ancestry, which was lost after the Civil War to their white kin but remembered by Abraham and his African-American family. 

In search of a better life during the Great Depression, Abraham moved to New York City in the 1930s, and later served in World War II. 

In 2006, Abraham’s son, Al Hinton, was researching family history when he made contact with NYU professor Robert Hinton, whose grandfather was born a slave at Midway Plantation and who revealed that he was working on a documentary called Moving Midway about the plantation’s history. Dr. Hinton and writer-director Godfrey Cheshire, a descendent of the white Hintons, met and interviewed Abraham – whose memories of Ruffin form a crucial link in the film’s narrative – and later took him to North Carolina to be an honored guest at the reopening of Midway Plantation, as is shown in the film’s final scene. 

Abraham, who lives in Harlem, attended the film’s first showing at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April, 2007, and its New York premiere at Lincoln Center in April, 2008.  

Godfrey Cheshire says, “My cousin Abraham is a real hero to me. His ancestors came out of slavery and he has been through some tough times, but he has retained his warm spirit, philosophical outlook and good humor throughout everything. Meeting him and his family was one of the great joys of making my film. All of the Moving Midway team wish him a very happy 100th birthday and many happy returns.” 

More News

Metro Magazine, July 2009
Godfrey Reports on 'Moving Midway' at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily

NPR's Weekend Edition, May 23rd 2009
Scott Simon's  interview with Godfrey Cheshire and Robert Hinton

The Washington Post, March 3, 2009
Relocating a Plantation, And Reconnecting A Divided Racial Past

New York Magazine, "The Year In Movies", December 7, 2008
New York Magazine Names Moving Midway as Runner-Up Best Documentary of 2008!
"A superb fusion of journalism and criticism"

Wilmington Star-News, October 29, 2008
House's story becomes family history
Moving Raleigh plantation home reveals African-American roots

Knoxville News-Sentinel, October 17, 2008
Director deconstructs heritage as plantation home hits the road

Winston-Salem Journal (NC), October 9 2009
Story of N.C. plantation house is moving, in many different ways

Carolina NewsWire, October 6, 2008
Godfrey Cheshire Joins Metro Magazine

The Story with Dick Gordon (National Public Radio), October 3, 2008
MP3 Podcast of 1 hour interview with Robert Hinton and Godfrey Cheshire

The Cary News, September 30, 2008
Moving Midway moves

Eastern Wake News (Wake County, North Carolina), September 24, 2008
Film delves into history

WCHL Chapel Hill AM1360, September 18, 2008
Podcast Interview with Godfrey Cheshire and Robert Hinton (.mp3 file)

Raleigh News & Observer, September 19, 2008
Critic moves behind the lens

Daily Tar Heel, September 19, 2008
Plantation house film opens

WRAL-TV - Raleigh, NC September 17, 2008
Interview with Robert Hinton and Godfrey Cheshire

New York Press, September 16, 2008
Godfrey ‘Death of Film’ Cheshire premieres a doc, ‘Moving Midway,’ about his Southern home

The Cary News, September 16, 2008
House, Home, History

The House Next Door (podcast Transcript), September 12, 2008
HND@Grassroots: Season 2, Episode 2 (20), "Moving Midway," with Godfrey Cheshire

Winston-Salem Journal, September 12, 2008
'Moving Midway' opens in New York, then NC

New York Sun, September 5, 2008
This Old House: Godfrey Cheshire's Family History

NY Times, Home & Garden Section, September 3, 2008
Moving Day, Ghosts Included

Metro Magazine, September 2008
Moving Midway: The Inside Story Of A Southern Plantation

Oprah's O at Home Magazine, Fall Issue
Homefront Section

ABCNews.Com: August 20, 2008
Race Bleeds From Election Onto Big Screen
Three New Documentaries Tackle Black vs. White Debate as '08 Election Approaches

Variety: June 11, 2008
First Run on the move with 'Midway'
Film unit picks up Cheshire's documentary

The News & Observer, March 25, 2008
Film tells racial history

NC Flix
Film Critic takes the director's chair in Moving Midway

Independent Weekly, July 27, 2005
Moving Midway, or ... Godfrey Changes Focus
A longtime movie critic steps behind the camera