Directed by Cheryl Dunye

Directed by Cheryl Dunye

9 Episodes

The inventive, self-reflexive films of independent trailblazer Cheryl Dunye offer multilayered, sharply funny commentaries on the intersections of black and queer identity. Over the course of six provocative, sardonic shorts, Dunye honed a unique, quasi-documentary style she dubbed “Dunyementary,” which she perfected in her first feature, THE WATERMELON WOMAN, a landmark of personal filmmaking in which she threads a self-deprecating look at interracial lesbian dating in the 1990s with a pointed critique of the history of African American representation on-screen. In subsequent features like the unconventional murder mystery THE OWLS, Dunye has continued to combine her astute observations on race, gender, and sexuality with ingenious formal experimentation.

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Directed by Cheryl Dunye
  • Cheryl Dunye Interview

    Episode 1

    This interview with writer-director Cheryl Dunye was recorded in 2020.

  • The Watermelon Woman

    Episode 2

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1996 • United States
    Starring Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker

    Cheryl Dunye’s bitingly funny, deeply personal feature debut is a landmark look at the black lesbian experience. The director herself stars as Cheryl, a twenty-something lesbian struggling to ...

  • The Owls

    Episode 3

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 2010 • United States
    Starring Guinevere Turner, V. S. Brodie, Lisa Gornick

    Ten years ago, the Screech was the hottest lesbian band around. But the mighty musicians have fallen into relative obscurity and unanticipated turmoil. Iris (Guinevere Turner) dreams of a comeba...

  • Janine

    Episode 4

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1990 • United States
    Starring Cheryl Dunye

    Cheryl Dunye recounts the story of a black lesbian’s relationship with a white, upper-middle-class high school girl.

  • She Don’t Fade

    Episode 5

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1991 • United States
    Starring Zoie Strauss, Cheryl Dunye, Paula Cronan

    A smart, hilarious, and self-reflexive look at the sexuality of a young black lesbian.

  • Vanilla Sex

    Episode 6

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1992 • United States
    Starring Cheryl Dunye

    The filmmaker muses on the slang term of the title: is it who you do, or what you do?

  • An Untitled Portrait

    Episode 7

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1993 • United States

    Cheryl Dunye examines her relationship with her in this collage of appropriated film footage, Super 8 home movies, and Dunye’s own wry brand of humor.

  • The Potluck and the Passion

    Episode 8

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1993 • United States
    Starring Jen Benoit, Shelita Birchett, Pat Branch

    Sparks fly as racial, sexual, and social politics intermingle at a lesbian potluck.

  • Greetings from Africa

    Episode 9

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1996 • United States
    Starring Nora Breen, Cheryl Dunye, Jocelyn Taylor

    Playing herself, Cheryl Dunye humorously experiences the mysteries of lesbian dating in the 1990s.