The Watermelon Woman

1996

Comedy / Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 2397

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 26, 2022 at 08:46 AM

Director

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720p.WEB
778.24 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lastliberal 7 / 10

Time does fly, and people do change.

This is a very lighthearted film about a black video store clerk (Cheryl Dunye) who wants to make a documentary about an early black actress, known only as The Watermelon Woman." The fact that both Cheryl (Dunye) and the actress are lesbians keeps her going. In fact, in life imitating art, Cheryl finds that The Watermelon Woman was having a lesbian relationship with a white director, and then, she begins a relationship with a white video store customer (Guinevere Turner - American Psycho, Itty Bitty Titty Committee).

The film explored black language, early black actresses, black lesbians, mammies, and watermelon. It even featured an interview with Camille Paglia discussing mammies and watermelon in the context of blacks and Italians, It's nice to see Italians spoken of in something other than the Mob.

Her BFF Tamera (Valarie Walker) is a party girl, but she draws the line at interracial relationships, and that causes a problem for Cheryl.

There are a lot of good scenes throughout the movie, and it made it worthwhile even if the acting wasn't particularly good.

The end credits will surprise you.

Reviewed by ksf-2 7 / 10

the cheryl dunye channel. on a mission.

Cheryl is a worker in a video store, with a video business on the side. she meets Diana in the video store, and that's the start of the adventure. lots of filming, lots of chit chat, bumming around town while Cheryl asks family, friends, and local experts what they know about the "watermelon woman", from old hollywood. very loosely based on the stories of Dorothy Arzner, and/or early, black actresses. some conflicts... between Cheryl and her co-worker Tamara, and then between Cheryl and Diana. but the conflicts feel a little scripted; we never really find out the reason for the disagreements, or the resolution. it's an entertaining 90 minutes. some repetition, where she keeps showing the same scene from a black and while film that she adores. we see the struggles Cheryl has trying to track down an obscure figure from way back when. mostly well done. Written, directed, and starring Cheryl Dunye. She had done mostly short films up to now.

Reviewed by gbill-74877 8 / 10

Sometimes you have to create your own history

When we first see clips of old film actor Fae Richards, the person the protagonist (Cheryl Dunye) is researching, it's immediately apparent that she's fictional, and I initially thought it was an unfortunate choice. But as it played out, it hit me: what does it say when a black lesbian director invents this person, and the researcher has a hard time finding information on her? Probably that there simply was not adequate representation, and that history is usually whitewashed. At the end of the credits, the line "Sometimes you have to create your own history" gave me goosebumps. Along the way there are things on the surface that will undoubtedly draw reactions - the wildly uneven acting and indie production value, and a sex scene that seemed restrained and erotic to me but which unfortunately drew the ire of conservatives in Congress. Aside from the representation the film gives us, it's filled with things that critique the world this woman lives in. There's the obvious barb in the fictional actor being dubbed "Watermelon Woman" and being famous for her role in "Plantation Memories." Another is the librarian explaining to her that she should check the "black reference" files for the old film star, and the silent little look she exchanges with her friend. There's also the white film professor explaining how modern black scholars have it wrong relative to the offensiveness of the "mammy" figure, which was brilliant. It comes within the community too; when her friend frowns upon the relationship she's having with a white woman, she says it's nobody's business who she's having sex with. Amen. Despite the choppiness of a few scenes which almost seem like parodies of themselves, I genuinely enjoyed this film. It's creative, empowering, and well-paced in its 85 minutes. There's also something pretty powerful about the message at its center.

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