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:

Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

ON DISC
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife, and he must struggle against ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey
Elephant (TV Short 1989)
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A depiction of a series of violent killings in Northern Ireland with no clue as to exactly who is responsible.

Director: Alan Clarke
Stars: Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 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
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck
Blonde Venus (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Director: Jennie Livingston
Stars: André Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Duprée
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 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
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 | Plot 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 Watermelon Man (1970) 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:
?