The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Gay & Lesbian Films, Romantic Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The first film by and about an African-American lesbian, writer-director Cheryl Dunye's fantasy is a "mockumentary," focusing on recapturing the life and times of a fictionalized 1930s Hollywood actress. Dunye plays herself as a video store employee who yearns to be a director. She decides to make a documentary about Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson), a forgotten African-American actress from the 1930s. Dunye discovers the woman, who often played degrading roles as a "mammy" in Hollywood films, was the secret lover of a white director, Martha Paige. Dunye interviews feminist historian Camille Paglia (playing herself), who explains Richards' career and its importance. While researching the project, Dunye falls in love with Diana (Guinevere Turner), a white customer. But her unceasing work on the film project interferes with her relationships with Diana and also with her friend and fellow video store employee Tamara (Valarie Walker).

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Keywords

actor, cross-cultural-relations, filmmaker, investigation, obsession