The Watermelon Woman

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Cheryl Dunye plays a version of herself in this witty, nimble landmark of New Queer Cinema, restored for its 20th anniversary. When the fledgling filmmaker becomes obsessed with the "most beautiful mammy" spied in a 1930s movie, she embarks on a documentary about this "Watermelon Woman," along the way unpacking LGBT and Black film history and finding parallels between that Depression-era actress and herself. This is social critique at its most charming and audacious.

Film Detail

Running time: 84 min.
Year: 1996
Country(ies): USA
Language(s): English
Director(s): Cheryl Dunye
Producer(s): Alexandra Juhasz, Barry Swimar
Writer(s): Cheryl Dunye
Cinematographer(s): Michelle Crenshaw
Editor(s): Annie Taylor


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