The Watermelon Woman

Directed by Cheryl Dunye

Set in Philadelphia, young black lesbian Cheryl works in a video store with her friend Tamara but is determined to make a documentary about forgotten uncredited black actress from the 1930s known only as ‘The Watermelon Woman’. She encounters a range of people including her own mother as well as activist Camille Paglia, who help uncover the mystery also coincides with her growing relationship with Diana. In the process, she discovers the hidden side to lesbian relationships.

A landmark of LGBTQ+ cinema as well as black filmmaking, The Watermelon Woman won both the Teddy Award at Berlin International Festival and Audience Award for Outstanding Feature at Outfest in 1996.  Directed by Cheryl Dunye, she also takes the lead roll alongside Guinevere Turner (American Psycho. Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?), Lisa Marie Bronson, activist poet Cheryl Clarke, artist Zoe Leonard and academic Camille Paglia.

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85 minutes


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