6.4/10
604
11 user 25 critic

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 March 1997 (USA)
Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Go Fish (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Max is a trendy, pretty, young lesbian, who is having trouble finding love. A friend sets her up with Ely, whom Max likes, but Ely is frumpy, homely, and older. Nor do they have much in ... See full summary »

Director: Rose Troche
Stars: V.S. Brodie, Guinevere Turner, T. Wendy McMillan
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A black and white, fantasy-like recreation of high-society gay men during the Harlem Renaissance, with archival footage and photographs intercut with a story. A wake is going on, with ... See full summary »

Director: Isaac Julien
Stars: Ben Ellison, Matthew Baidoo, Akim Mogaji
Pariah I (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Director: Dee Rees
Stars: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a revolution in which a socialist government gains power, this films presents a dystopia in which the issues of ... See full summary »

Director: Lizzie Borden
Stars: Honey, Adele Bertei, Jean Satterfield
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last ... See full summary »

Director: Julie Dash
Stars: Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbarao
Stranger Inside (TV Movie 2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mother daughter reunion set in the harsh reality of a women's correctional facility

Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Yolonda Ross, Davenia McFadden, Rain Phoenix
The Owls (2010)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Two middle-aged, lesbian couples accidentally kill a younger lesbian and hide the body, without reporting it to the authorities. Their guilt and long-kept, dark secret comes back to haunt ... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Deak Evgenikos, Guinevere Turner, V.S. Brodie
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ... See full summary »

Director: Marlon Riggs
Stars: Marlon Riggs, Michael Bell, Kerrigan Black
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

Director: Jamie Babbit
Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Michelle Williams
Saving Face (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Director: Alice Wu
Stars: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Lynn Chen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An adventurous love story between two young women of different social and economic backgrounds who find themselves going through all the typical struggles of a new romance.

Director: Maria Maggenti
Stars: Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker, Maggie Moore
Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Kingston Farady
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Cheryl Dunye ...
...
Diana
Valarie Walker ...
Tamara
Lisa Marie Bronson ...
Fae 'The Watermelon Woman' Richards
Cheryl Clarke ...
June Walker
Irene Dunye ...
Herself
Brian Freeman ...
Lee Edwards
Camille Paglia ...
Herself
Sarah Schulman ...
CLIT Archivist
V.S. Brodie ...
Karaoke Singer
Shelley Olivier ...
Annie Heath
Toshi Reagon ...
...
Video Browser
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mickey Goldhaber ...
Featured
K. Brent Hill ...
J.J. Liberty
Edit

Storyline

Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who appeared in films in the 30s and was known as the Watermelon Woman. Following various leads, Cheryl discovers the Watermelon Woman's stage name and real name and surmises that the actress had a long affair with Martha Page, a White woman and one of Hollywood's few female directors. As she's discovering these things, Cheryl becomes involved with Diana, who's also White. The affair strains Cheryl's friendship with Tamara. More discoveries bring Cheryl (and us, her audience) to new realizations. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arbuziarka  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene from the faux-archival 1930s film, "Plantation Memories", was directed by Douglas McKeown and co-written by McKeown and Cheryl Dunye See more »

Quotes

Cheryl: Hey! Hey, you're Martin Pumphrey!
Street Magician: No ma'am, I'm a magician.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film, which seems to be a documentary about Cheryl's search for the obscure actress who inspired her, ends with these printed words: "Sometimes you have to create your own history. The Watermelon Woman is fiction. Cheryl Dunye, 1996" See more »

Connections

References Watermelon Man (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
obsession - super sweet!
22 December 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

There are themes and issues in this film that are obvious, but well defined and used - lesbianism, racism, interracial relationships.... and the ups and downs of working in a video rental shop. All that aside, I have to say that, for me "The Watermelon Woman" is all about obsession. Ah - obsession! The obsession in this case is our leading lady's obsession with a marginal black actress in black & white movies of days long gone by, credited in the films on as "The Watermelon Woman." Who was she... what was her real name... why was she someone to obsess upon? Our lovely leading lesbian begins a journey of body and mind to find the truth of the Watermelon Woman and her life. I tell you obsession is a wondrous thing... when you find something (or, if you're me, many things) to obsess on, your life will be filed with the richness of discovery.. and you'll never be a boring party guest. So, have a look at "The Watermelon Woman," who knows you may just find yourself obsessed. Super sweet.


2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Here We Go: Welcome to "The IMDb Show"

Kevin Smith weighs in on Justice League and the future of DC and Marvel, and answers fan questions. Plus, we battle with fans over who played the greatest Batman of all time.

Here we go