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Poster for The Watermelon Woman

The Watermelon Woman

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Midnight weekend screenings happen on Friday & Saturday nights (meaning arrive on Friday and/or Saturday night by 11:45pm for seating, the movie starts after midnight)!

Director: Cheryl Dunye Run Time: 85 min. Release Year: 1997

Starring: Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valerie Walker

Re-released for its 20th anniversary in a pristine 2K HD restoration, The Watermelon Woman is the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye), a twenty-something black lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, a beautiful and elusive 1930s black film actress popularly known as “The Watermelon Woman.” While uncovering the meaning of Fae Richards’ life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval in her personal life. Her love affair with Diana (Guinevere Turner, Go Fish), a beautiful white woman, and her interactions with the gay and black communities, are subject to the comic yet biting criticism of her best friend Tamara (Valerie Walker). Meanwhile, each answer Cheryl discovers about the Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her future.

“A landmark of New Queer Cinema and the first feature film directed by an African American lesbian. With biting humor and a sharp eye towards hidden histories, the film deftly captures the search for identity and how we, in turn, preserve and share history, from the stories told by ourselves, families, and communities, to those produced by Hollywood and culture writ large.” – Interview Magazine

“A wry, exhilarating comedy, at once romantic and sharply observant.” – Los Angeles Times

“A vital example of New Queer Cinema, but it’s more than a time capsule. Funny and smart, full of astute observations about identity and history, Cheryl Dunye’s audacious, joyous debut feature captures the process of falling hopelessly in love with the movies.” – Village Voice

“As educational as it is about race and gender politics, ‘The Watermelon Woman’ also carries itself with the charm and lifelike quality of a Linklater film.” – Paste Magazine