About The Watermelon Woman/Black is Blue

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Director Cheryl Dunye is scheduled to be present. The Watermelon Woman (1996) Directed by Cheryl Dunye
Black is Blue (2014) Directed by Cheryl Dunye

Set in Philadelphia, The Watermelon Woman is the story of Cheryl (Cheryl Dunye), a 20-something black lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards—a beautiful and elusive 1930s African American film actress popularly known as “the Watermelon Woman.” While uncovering the meaning of Richards’ life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval of her own personal life. Her love affair with Diana (Guinevere Turner), a beautiful white woman, and her interactions with the gay and black communities are subject to the comic, yet biting criticism of her best friend Tamara (Valarie Walker). Meanwhile, each answer Cheryl discovers about Richards evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her own future. At the film’s conclusion, the Watermelon Woman is clearly a metaphor for Cheryl’s search for identity, community, and love. Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Watermelon Woman was meticulously restored by 13th Gen, the Outfest Legacy Project, UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Toronto International Film Festival, and First Run Features. The restoration was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. Preceding The Watermelon Woman is Dunye’s short film Black is Blue (21 min.), the story of Black, an African American Transman, who works as a security guard inside an apartment complex in present day Oakland, Calif. On the night of a ‘stud party,’ Black is forced to confront his pre-transition past, struggling to make his outside match his inside. Contains mature content, including strong language and nudity.(HD/2K DCP Presentation)

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