THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996)
Dir. Cheryl Dunye
Filmmaker Cheryl Dunye researches the life of a 20th century film actress she shares an affinity with.
While Queerama uses archival film to show how queerness has existed in both text and subtext, The Watermelon Woman negotiates the whole idea of the archive, questioning who is missing. Cheryl Duyne carves out a unique space of romcom/quasi-documentary as she searches for recognition within film history. By clearly situating The Watermelon Woman in a time and place, it creates its own archive, not only of black lesbians in film history, but is a record of Duyne specific experience of being a Black lesbian. The Watermelon Woman is a reminder that queer spaces are meaningful because of their potential as a site of recognition.