The Watermelon Woman

The Watermelon Woman

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 make a documentary about Fae Richards, a beautiful and elusive 1930s black film actress popularly known as the Watermelon Woman. While uncovering the meaning of Richards’s life, Cheryl simultaneously experiences a total upheaval in her own when she embarks on an affair with a white woman (Guinevere Turner). Soon, each answer Cheryl discovers about the Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her future.

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The Watermelon Woman
  • The Watermelon Woman

    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 ...

Extras

  • THE WATERMELON WOMAN Introduction

    Critic and Queersighted programmer Michael Koresky and food and film writer Mayukh Sen discuss Cheryl Dunye's landmark film.

  • Cheryl Dunye on the NEA

    In this excerpt from an interview recorded in 2020, director Cheryl Dunye discusses the grant that she received from the National Endowment for the Arts for her film THE WATERMELON WOMAN and the subsequent backlash against its depictions of sexuality.