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The Watermelon Woman

The Watermelon Woman

“An investigation into film history that doubles as a romantic comedy, The Watermelon Woman is a dazzlingly inventive landmark of the New Queer Cinema and the first US feature directed by an ’out’ Black lesbian.”

Cheryl is young, Black, and lesbian, working in Philadelphia with her best friend Tamara and consumed by a film project: to make a video about her search for a Black actress from Philly who appeared in films in the 30s and was known as the Watermelon Woman. Following various leads, Cheryl discovers the Watermelon Woman's stage name and real name and surmises that the actress had a long affair with Martha Page, a White woman and one of Hollywood's few female directors. As she's discovering these things, Cheryl becomes involved with Diana, who's also White. The affair strains Cheryl's friendship with Tamara. More discoveries bring Cheryl (and us, her audience) to new realizations.

“Dunye gives us permission to define ourselves in ways that both claim our ancestors and mark the space between us and them – a space for different yet entangled freedoms. How do we tell stories that cannot but must be told? The Watermelon Woman offers another way to search for “our mother’s gardens” (as author Alice Walker puts it), one in which imagination is a form of birth and repair.”

— Chrystel Oloukoï for the British Film Institute

The Watermelon Woman

Sun April 17, 2:00 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

United States of America, 1996, in English, 85 min

Director: Cheryl Dunye, Writer: Cheryl Dunye, Cast: Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Camille Paglia, Valarie Walker, Lisa Marie Bronson

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Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

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Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

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(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

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Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

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