This groundbreaking feature film by Cheryl Dunye is considered a lesbian classic. Don’t miss it!
Part of a slate of important and influential LGBTQ films in the ’90s including Bound, The Doom Generation, High Art and All About My Mother, The Watermelon Woman was one of the few to experiment with cinema narrative from a Black queer woman’s point of view.
Cheryl Dunye’s comic, quasi-documentary masterpiece follows an aspiring Black lesbian filmmaker (Dunye) as she researches an obscure 1940s Black actress who had been billed as the “Watermelon Woman.” The film also features a role played by Guinevere Turner (Go Fish). Music icon Toshi Reagon and academic Camille Paglia also have cameos.
The film brings up the issues of visibility and representation for people of color, the place of lesbians in culture and society, and many issues that are still relevant to this day.
Critic Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix wrote at the time of release in 1996, “Seldom have cultural analysis and sexual/racial politics been so entertaining.”
Rosalind Bentley from the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote, “It gives us something we don’t see much of in film—young [B]lack women claiming their space and sharing it with the rest of us.”
Watermelon Woman premieres and streams on Revry beginning Friday, February 25 at 5pm PST.