IMDb > The Watermelon Woman (1996)
The Watermelon Woman
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The Watermelon Woman (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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The Watermelon Woman -- Cheryl Dunye's debut feature is as controversial as it is sexy and funny. Cheryl is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards.


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Release Date:
5 March 1997 (USA) See more »
Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
(12 articles)
Steve McQueen to Helm a Paul Robeson Biopic (& other news)
 (From FilmExperience. 19 November 2014, 9:01 AM, PST)

Introducing... The Desiring Image
 (From FilmExperience. 24 March 2013, 12:50 PM, PDT)

Black History Month Must-Watch: "The Watermelon Woman"
 (From 20 February 2013, 11:07 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
obsession - super sweet! See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Cheryl Dunye ... Cheryl

Guinevere Turner ... 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

Emmy Collins ... Video Browser
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mickey Goldhaber ... Featured
K. Brent Hill ... J.J. Liberty
Alexandra Juhasz ... Martha Page
Gail Lloyd ... Diana's Black Date

Christopher Mann ... Himself

Kat Robertson ... Yvette

Orion McCabe ... Video Browser (uncredited)

Directed by
Cheryl Dunye 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Cheryl Dunye 

Produced by
Alexandra Juhasz .... producer
Barry Swimar .... producer
Cate Wilson .... co-producer
Original Music by
Paul Shapiro 
Cinematography by
Michelle Crenshaw 
Film Editing by
Cheryl Dunye 
Casting by
Mike Lemon 
Gail Lloyd 
Makeup Department
Kat Robertson .... key makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael LaCorte .... second second assistant director
Elenie Mansalis .... second assistant director
Rick Walls .... additional assistant director
Art Department
Sharon Potts .... props
Sound Department
Tom Jucarone .... sound re-recording mixer
Dave Rainey .... boom operator
Camera and Electrical Department
George Roach .... Grip and Electric Truck Owner (uncredited)
Music Department
Bill Coleman .... music supervisor
Other crew
Tim Downs .... location manager
Benjamin Goldberg .... production coordinator
Susan Jacobs .... publicist
Missy Moyer .... location manager
Reena Walker .... consultant
David Walls .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min

Did You Know?

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 »
Cheryl:Hey! Hey, you're Martin Pumphrey!
Street Magician:No ma'am, I'm a magician.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Watermelon Man (1970)See more »


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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
obsession - super sweet!, 22 December 2007
Author: orchidbauDOTcom from Canada

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.

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