The Watermelon Woman (Liberia: 1996)


Cheryl Dunye

Cast list

Cheryl Dunye: Cheryl

Guinevere Turner: Diana

Valerie Walker: Tamara

Lisa Marie Bronson: Fae `The Watermelon Woman` Richards

Camille Paglia: Herself

Brian Freeman: Lee Edwards


This film is about a woman, Cheryl, a young lesbian woman who is working in a film store who makes home videos for people on the side. Cheryl picks up a particular interest in films from the 1930’s and 40’s that star a certain African woman actress who is not credited but is known as “the watermelon woman”.  Cheryl decides to create a documentary about the “watermelon woman” while trying to both keep her day job and balance the realities of lesbian and interracial relationships both romantically and within the workplace.


`Watermelon Woman` Digs Fruitfully Into a Faux Past/ Black lesbian’s film within a film. Ruthe Stein, ChronicleStaff Critic (newspaper article 1997, online reprint)

Matt Richardson. "Our Stories Have Never Been Told: Preliminary Thoughts on Black Lesbian Cultural Production as Historiography in The Watermelon Woman" Black Camera: An International Film Journal (The New Series) April 2011, Vol.2 (2), pp. 100-113 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

Other movies from Liberia made in

Title Country Year Director More infos
My Baby’s Daddy Liberia 2004 Cherly Dunye
Stranger Inside Liberia 2015 Cheryl Dunye
The Watermelon Woman Liberia 1996 Cheryl Dunye
Greetings From Africa Liberia 1994 Cheryl Dunye
Johnny Mad Dog Liberia 2008 Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
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