The Watermelon Woman to be shown at Hamilton College
A comedic pseudo-documentary, The Watermelon Woman is the first featurelength film to be directed by a black lesbian. It has received wide criticaland popular acclaim and was the winner of the Teddy Award at last year's BerlinFilm Festival.
Set in present day Philadelphia, the film explores African-American and lesbianfilm history, inter-racial lesbian relationships and the complexity ofidentity. It is the story of Cheryl, an aspiring black lesbian filmmaker whobecomes intrigued with a black actress from the 1930s. Cheryl decides to make adocumentary about the elusive actress who is known simply as "The WatermelonWoman." As Cheryl begins to uncover information about "The Watermelon Woman,"whom she discovers was probably a lesbian, she begins to question her ownidentity.
The film also features Guinevere Turner, writer and star of Go Fish;African-American lesbian poet and activist Cheryl Clarke; African-Americanfeminist academic Michelle Wallace; and Brian Freeman of the performance groupPomo Afro Homos. Singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon, cultural critic CamillePaglia and author Sara Schulman make cameo appearances.
Dunye is currently a visiting professor at Pitzer College and CaliforniaInstitute of the Arts. She is also the director of several shorts includingShe Don't Fade, The Potluck and the Passion and Greetings fromAfrica. Her next project will focus on the experiences of young women inprison.