Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who...
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Max is a trendy, pretty, young lesbian, who is having trouble finding love. A friend sets her up with Ely, whom Max likes, but Ely is frumpy, homely, and older. Nor do they have much in ... See full summary »
T. Wendy McMillan
Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, it presents a dystopia in which the issues of many groups - minorities, liberals, gay rights organizations, feminists - are dealt with by the government.
Two middle-aged, lesbian couples accidentally kill a younger lesbian and hide the body, without reporting it to the authorities. Their guilt and long-kept, dark secret comes back to haunt ... See full summary »
Pioneer filmmaker Cheryl Dunye returns with a sassy, raunchy, romantic sex comedy set in the edgy underground of Berlin where love and taboo affairs collide! Cute power femme Dylan (Lil ... See full summary »
Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last ... See full summary »
A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with ... See full summary »
Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who appeared in films in the 30s and was known as the Watermelon Woman. Following various leads, Cheryl discovers the Watermelon Woman's stage name and real name and surmises that the actress had a long affair with Martha Page, a White woman and one of Hollywood's few female directors. As she's discovering these things, Cheryl becomes involved with Diana, who's also White. The affair strains Cheryl's friendship with Tamara. More discoveries bring Cheryl (and us, her audience) to new realizations.Written by
According to writer/director Cheryl Dunye, much about the character she plays in the film is autobiographical, but the historical references to the Watermelon Woman are fictional: "The Watermelon Woman came from the real lack of any information about the lesbian and film history of African-American women. Since it wasn't happening, I invented it." See more »
The film, which seems to be a documentary about Cheryl's search for the obscure actress who inspired her, ends with these printed words: "Sometimes you have to create your own history. The Watermelon Woman is fiction. Cheryl Dunye, 1996" See more »
In 2016, director Cheryl Dunye's landmark Black Queer Film THE WATERMELON WOMAN was re-released in select theaters and festivals with a pristine 2K HD restoration overseen by the production company 13th Gen, in partnership with Modern Videofilm. The restoration and re-release was sponsored by First Run Features, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, and the Toronto International Film Festival. This theatrical tour will be followed by a DVD re-release in early 2017. See more »
The Watermelon Woman (1996) was written and directed by Cheryl Dunye. Dunye also stars. The film introduction included the information that this was the first movie to be directed by an openly lesbian Black director.
We learned that Dunye was a film student who wanted to make a documentary about Black women in 1930's movies. Except for movies made for Black audiences, Black women were invariably cast as servants or slaves. Very often their names didn't appear in the movie credits.
Rather than actually doing the documentary, Dunye made a narrative film about a woman (herself) trying to make the documentary. It sounds strange, but it makes sense when you're watching it.
We saw the movie at Rochester's wonderful Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum. It will work well enough on the small screen. It's not a movie for everyone, but it's an important film, and worth seeing.
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