The Watermelon Woman (The Watermelon Woman)

Feature Film USA 1996

Cheryl, who works in a video rental store but has ambitions to be a filmmaker, wants to shoot a documentary about a little known (and fictitious) African-American actress from the 30's, known as "Watermelon Woman". She soon becomes obsessed with the similarities between her personal life and that of the woman she's researching. An obsession she cannot detach from. Just like the Watermelon Woman, she too starts an affair with a young white woman which creates problems for her with the gay African-American community. A romantic comedy, full of humour (Woody Allen meets Spike Lee), the movie remains light despite its clearly militant purpose and a narrative structure that mixes together history and story, past and present, fiction and research, true and false. A mockumentary, a semi-autobiographical film-within-a-film, the first lesbian feature film focusing on the African-American community. Cheryl Dunye debuts as a feature film director and also plays the leading role.

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