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Special Premiere Screening! Filmmaker Discussion! PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE • Tuesday 12/11 at 7:00

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Sat, Mar 17, 2018

Staff Picks (past events)Repertory Series ArchiveBIFWC 25th

The Watermelon Woman

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WATERMELON WOMAN

(1996) dir Cheryl Dunye w/Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker, Lisa Marie Bronson [90 min, DCP]
Cheryl (Dunye) is a twenty-something black lesbian working as a clerk in a video store while struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an obscure black actress from the 1930’s. Cheryl is surprised to discover that Richards (known popularly only as “the Watermelon Woman”) had a white lesbian lover. At the same time, Cheryl finds herself falling for a cute white customer at the video store (Turner). Such are the complexities of race and sex in this startlingly fresh debut, which was attacked by conservatives for having been funded by the NEA and praised by critics for being charming and courageous.

“For all the serious issues ‘The Watermelon Woman’ tackles, the film never takes itself too seriously. Dunye has infused it with a lightness that seems to match her spirit.” – Ruthe Stein, SF Chronicle

“A breezy, faux-cinema-verite account of a black lesbian film maker researching the life of an obscure actress from the 1930’s, the movie, which opens today at the Film Forum, walks a fine line between serious intellectual inquiry and outright spoof.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Philadelphia filmmaker Cheryl Dunye has such a light, easy touch both in front and in back of the camera that you’re in danger of not noticing how skillful a craftsman she really is or how deftly she raises serious issues of race and sexual orientation in The Watermelon Woman.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

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Saturday 3/17
at 7:00 PM

 
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  • Theatrical Premiere Run! BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY • December 7–13