Between her work at a video rental store and odd jobs making wedding videos, Cheryl has a life project: to learn about a Black silent movie character, whose actor was identified solely as “The Watermelon Woman”. While investigating her story, Cheryl’s life as a young Black lesbian becomes tangled up with her own obsession. A film that skillfully blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction to question the premises of what, in the real world, was and continues to be fabricated as “legitimate” by the film industry itself. (C. A.)
Cheryl Dunye (1966-), a Liberian-American director, producer, and screenwriter, began her career as a filmmaker in the 1990s, gaining notoriety amid the emergence of the New Queer Cinema movement. Her first feature film, "The Watermelon Woman", won the Teddy Award at the 1996 Berlin Film Festival, consecrating her as one of the leading young filmmakers of her time. With a filmography comprising over 15 films, in addition to numerous programs directed for television, she is known for her peculiar mode of blurring the boundaries between documentary and fiction, a style nicknamed "Dunyementary", and her exploration of the intersection between the lesbian and Black experiences.