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
The Watermelon Woman Liberia 1996 Cheryl Dunye
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