MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,187 this week

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

 -  Drama  -  5 March 1997 (USA)
6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 427 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 15 critic

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:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 24 Oct 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 01 Sep 2012
 
a list of 113 titles
created 03 Nov 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 31 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 07 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Watermelon Woman (1996)

The Watermelon Woman (1996) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Watermelon Woman.
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Valencia is a collaboration between a national community of queer filmmakers to adapt the underground classic memoir into a kaleidoscopic vision of San Francisco's Mission District in the ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Anthony, Sharon Barnes, and 18 more credits »
Stars: Shawna Elizabeth, Annie Danger, Tanya Wischerath
Black Is Blue (2014)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Black - once Blue - is now a trans man who works as a security guard in an apartment complex in Oakland. One night, Black notices an ex- girlfriend partying with some other women in one of ... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Lisa Evans, Kingston Farady, Andre Le Blanc
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drama that looks back on the Harlem Renaissance from the perspective of an elderly, black writer who meets a gay teenager in a New York homeless shelter.

Director: Rodney Evans
Stars: Anthony Mackie, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Duane Boutte
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
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
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Martinique, in the early 1930s. Young José and his grandmother live in a small village. Nearly everyone works cutting cane and barely earning a living. The overseer can fine a worker for ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Garry Cadenat, Darling Légitimus, Douta Seck
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Desert Hearts (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly... See full summary »

Director: Donna Deitch
Stars: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Pioneer filmmaker Cheryl Dunye returns with a sassy, raunchy, romantic sex comedy set in the edgy underground of Berlin where love and taboo affairs collide! Cute power femme Dylan (Lil ... See full summary »

Director: Cheryl Dunye
Stars: Lil Harlow, Papi Coxx, Maggie Tapert
Vanilla Sex (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Cheryl Dunye
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Woodie King Jr.
Stars: Woodie King Jr., Dick Anthony Williams, Peggy Kirkpatrick
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Cheryl Dunye ...
Cheryl
...
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 ...
Street Magician
...
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 | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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

According to writer/director Cheryl Dunye, much about the character she plays in the film is autobiographical, but the historical references to the Watermelon Woman are fictional: "The Watermelon Woman came from the real lack of any information about the lesbian and film history of African-American women. Since it wasn't happening, I invented it." 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 Juke Joint (1947) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Might encourage exclusivism in naive audiences.
26 January 2003 | by (nz) – See all my reviews

A couple of issues provoked my confusion and frustration in this psuedo-doco, film-type disjointed array of small-time scenes. I feel compelled to comment on them here, although they are not, in my experience confined to this particular picture. Primarily this is about the black-white thing, which is a subject I avoid as much as possible, since to me, it isn't something important that should be encouraged at all. Movies like this make it a thing and it, quite frankly, p**ses me off. I thought this was supposed to be about film-making, historical-research, and as a contemporary subordinate, lesbianism. Superficilly these topics may have dominated, underlying them was an extremely strong and all-too repetitive colour issue. Apparently it is a bad thing for white people to prefer black people or vice versa. A reason, implicably, for two people who like each other to get mad and break up. Rhetorically speaking, WHY is this made into a problem? When a girl falls in love with a girl then realises her lover's a lesbian (WHOA) they don't suddenly loath each other on account of woman to woman 'usage'. And Cheryl was the liberal among these mains.

Tamara was too much. The reverse-racism exhbited by this woman makes all historical attempts by the black masses at equality ostentatious, as with womans liberation turning to aggressive feminism. Temporarily, since as an educated, contemporary, liberal brought up in multi-racial society sudden, transient overwhelming provocation of irrational emotion cannot affect mentality. Perhaps 50 years ago... Now, okay, the woman she is researching was subject to colour-prejudice in her time (20's-30's). But this historical aspect was amplified many times over by the young 90's characters. This is the 21st century, we're all just as new to the world as each other, and none of us should be victimised at present because of whatever happened in the past to and by other people. The continuation of past problems is the most pretentious cause of person can hold.

It reads on the back of this tape "containing the most notorious lesbian sex scenes of recent years". Did I see the cut version? Made in 1996 the Watermelon woman that I saw could not compete leso-sex-wise with even the most popular lesbian films made prior in the '90's - It's in the water, Wild side, Butterfly kiss, Female Perversions, Late Bloomers, ... yes, I could go on. Not to mention the complete lack of relationship devlopment (as non/controversial lesbianism) which has been portrayed extremely well on screen since post-silent times.

A former commenter wrote that this was a singular film experience for her of the soft-core interracial lesbian scene. Personally I've never seen any black, lesbian smut, but okay, try checking the non-pornographic sections of a video store. The two most common interracial lesbian films I can think of (The incredibly true adventures of two girls in love and When night is falling) don't even promenade the interracial issue. They're two people, just like two other people. If the colour of someones skin contributes to someones attraction for them, why is that any different than the shape of their smile, or the sway of their personality. So there it is, my one-time appeal to please mellow out about the the entire above subject.


7 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are there any.....? Cookiecrumb444
Who Is Cheryl Dunye? lovejam
Time Line amy-672
Discuss The Watermelon Woman (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?