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In this first feature film directed by a black lesbian, Cheryl Dunye plays a fictionalized version of herself: a young video clerk fascinated by mammy characters of 1930s Hollywood. Cheryl’s fascination leads to an obsession with a stunning black lesbian actress credited as “the watermelon woman,” about whom she crafts a documentary while navigating an eerily similar love life. Winner of a Teddy Award for best first feature, The Watermelon Woman employs the frequent New Queer Cinema m.o. of creating queer histories—and in this case, stories of black women, too—from the cultural past. Dunye’s engaging persona and her playful, experimental direction make this a refreshing example of feminist cinema.