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The Watermelon Woman

The Watermelon Woman (1997)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

53

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 817

My Rating

Movie Info

The first film by and about an African-American lesbian, writer-director Cheryl Dunye's fantasy is a "mockumentary," focusing on recapturing the life and times of a fictionalized 1930s Hollywood actress. Dunye plays herself as a video store employee who yearns to be a director. She decides to make a documentary about Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson), a forgotten African-American actress from the 1930s. Dunye discovers the woman, who often played degrading roles as a "mammy" in Hollywood films,

Unrated,

Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Comedy

Cheryl Dunye

May 30, 2000

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All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (0)

The narrative, abot a black lesbian director, is elliptical and circular, borrowing its format from Jim McBride's seminal David Holtzman's Diary, at the end of which, the viewers realize they have been watching a fake documentary.

October 31, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The Watermelon Woman

Even though "The Watermelon Woman" is quite unpolished, writer-director Cheryl Dunye still manages to create a realistic fictional history in it to explore themes of race and sexuality while paralleling that with a fictional present where she plays Cheryl who works at a video store with her pal Tamara(Valarie Walker) and as videographers. Tamara tries to set her up on a blind date at a karaoke bar but it goes disastrously wrong.(Surprisingly, even worse than the usual karaoke nightmare.) Unexpectedly, Cheryl finds herself attracted to Diana(Guinevere Turner) who is new to Philadelphia.

Cheryl also has dreams of becoming a filmmaker and has decided to focus on The Watermelon Woman(Lisa Marie Bronson), nee Fae Richards, who was featured in Hollywood films as a stereotypical black maid and more three dimensional roles in race films. What Dunye does well is give a tantalizing glimpse at a lost world while debating whether or not actors like Fae were positive or negative role models. Adding versimilitude to the proceedings are interviews with Dunye's mother and Camille Paglia, about whom the reality of is debatable. For example, what does a watermelon having the same colors as the Italian flag have to do with anything?
September 2, 2009
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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