6.4/10
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11 user 25 critic

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Unrated | | Drama | 5 March 1997 (USA)
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2:18 | Clip

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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 »

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2 wins. See more awards »

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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
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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

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Details

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Release Date:

5 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arbuziarka  »

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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According to writer/director Cheryl Dunye, much about the character she plays in the film is autobiographical, but the historical references to the Watermelon Woman are fictional: "The Watermelon Woman came from the real lack of any information about the lesbian and film history of African-American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 »

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User Reviews

 
a fantastic movie
4 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

The movie centers around a young African-American lesbian,who is researching

a old time actress nicknamed"The Watermelon Womam"who is very similar to

her.This is a good film documentary.Ms.Dunn does a good job filming the movie along with making it work with the cast. This movie doesn't come up short to me,and serves its purpose.it never gets off the storyline,and has one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.The director challengers both race and sexuality makes this film more remarkable.Dealing

with the fact that she is having a relationship that is straining her friendship because of race. The director takes us into her point of view.Her lifestyle.Her way of thinking.And most of all,her life.Also learning about a woman who like her,had a inter race relationship,and who also was an actor.


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