The Watermelon Woman

Cheryl Dunye’s 1996 first feature is a lighthearted and for the most part lightweight pseudodocumentary about an aspiring lesbian filmmaker (Dunye) attempting to research the life of an early Hollywood black actress known as the Watermelon Woman. The film’s laid-back charm and the delicacy of the sex scenes make the controversy the film raised in the U.S. Senate all the more grotesque. With Guinevere Turner (Go Fish), Valarie Walker, and a funny bit by Camille Paglia about the positive aspects of watermelon imagery in relation to both blacks and Italians. (JR)

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