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The Watermelon Woman + A Comedy In 6 Unnatural Act

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Director: Cheryl Dunye
1996 / 116min / DCP

Dunye’s Philadelphia-set romance/drama/whatsit follows a twentysomething Black lesbian cineaste, Cheryl (Dunye herself), as she struggles to make a documentary about Fae Richards, an elusive 1930s Black film actress popularly known as “The Watermelon Woman.” Uncovering the meaning of Richards’s life, Cheryl experiences a total upheaval in her own—her relationship with Diana (Guinevere Turner, Go Fish), a beautiful white woman, is subjected to comic-yet-biting criticism from her best friend, Tamara (Valarie Walker), while each answer Cheryl discovers about The Watermelon Woman evokes a flurry of new questions about herself and her future. With A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts, Oxenburg’s affectionately self-aware satire of pervasive lesbian stereotypes.

A Comedy In Six Unnatural Acts new 4K restoration by IndieCollect with funding provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors, and IndieCollect Donors Circle. The Watermelon Woman Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by by 13th Gen, Outfest, The Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation, TIFF, First Run Features & Yves Averous.

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