Parents' Guide to

The Watermelon Woman

By Corrina Antrobus, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Black lesbian romcom has sex, nudity, racial commentary.

Movie NR 1996 90 minutes
The Watermelon Woman movie poster

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An underground cult classic, this romantic comedy-drama has found a wider audience due to the work of Black women and LGBTQ+ cinema being more appreciated and sought after within mainstream culture. Released in 1996, The Watermelon Woman is hailed as the first feature film to be directed by an out Black lesbian and is now often referenced as an example of sharp, witty, intelligent, and provocative filmmaking that sweetly blends documentary, fiction, comedy, and romance. Dunye is instantly likable as she takes us on a journey through her own personal history (yes that is her real mother, Irene), adjacent to an archaeological dig through the history of representation of Black women, (no Faye Richards is not a real person but the sentiment of looking for the untold stories or uncredited Black women actors is, paradoxically, a reality). Cheryl's gentle storytelling allows room for a scrumptious romantic thread that hits all the beats of a stylish romcom exploring interracial dating. All these ingredients, in a slender 90 minutes, make for a thoughtful and satisfying watch.

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