The Watermelon Woman

Cheryl Dunye
1996 - Comedy - 90 min

International cinema

The Watermelon Woman

Audience choice

United States

Cheryl Dunye’s incisive, humorous feature debut gave cinema something incredibly new and groundbreaking: a vibrant representation of black lesbian identity by a black lesbian filmmaker. Dunye plays Cheryl, a videocassette saleswoman and aspiring director whose interest in forgotten black actresses leads her to investigate an obscure 1930s performer known as Watermelon Woman. The latter’s story turns out to have surprising resonances with Cheryl’s own life.


Balancing romantic comedy with a serious investigation into the history of black and gay women in Hollywood, The Watermelon Woman slyly rewrites longstanding constructions of race and sexuality on screen, introducing an important voice in American cinema.

FST - French subtitles
EST - English subtitles
CC - Closed captions

Cinéma Public,
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