Friday, January 20, 2006

THE WATERMELON WOMAN


This is a 1996 film by Cheryl Dunaye (who acts as herself in this fictional history) that sweetheart serendipiduous lent me.
The film is structured like a documentary in which a first time film maker Cheryl sets out to trace the life of a "nanny" figure in the 30's hollywood films, a lady whose name in the credit was shown as the watermelon woman. as she finds out more and more about this mystery lady, the audience finds out mroe about cheryl herself and her relationships and also the need that drives her to find out about this woman. we get to knwo about her friendships and relationships, and get to letch at the gorgeousness that she is.
her story somehow runs parallel to that of the watermelon woman, both lesbians involved in an interracial relationship, both attached to films and trying to find their feet in the film industry.
she raises questions about blackness and lesbianism, but they are not contested categories for her, they already are full fledged questions that from now on need to be articulated, and one of these means of articulation is the film that she has been making.
that the documentary mode of narration is another one of these devices which allows you to write your own histroy is what makes the film most special. what is this fine line between fact and fiction that needs to be maintained in order to be able to make a statement about one's identity?
she overlooks it, and gives us an enjoyable film in the process.
wish you were making more such films cheryl.

8 comments:

  1. when i saw the pic, i noticed a black and white person rather than stright or gay couple. i wish i were in hyd just to b among people like me--outcasts. separated by invisible walls

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  2. Ilhave watched this film and loved it and she is so gorgeous....Cheryl
    i mean.aaaaaaaaaah!
    so this how the chain grows...me to P to you.

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  3. Medusa ~ truth is stranger than fiction. ;)

    i watched this movie (cant recall the title) once, in black and white about 2 lez lovers but that was a long time ago and the complete meaning was elusive.

    what i grasped from it is that one of the women had greater passion and need for closeness than her partner..seemed just like a normal relationship to me.

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  4. Never saw the movie, prob. never will?? But the picture made me think of the ying-yang symbol.

    BTW, how are you doing w/the (?) illness.

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  5. Medusa ~ ap kaisi hain? ;)
    *did i get it right*

    jus' checking in on ya..

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  6. Dammit girl!! respond, we are worried about you, PLEEZ :)

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  7. Omigod! You'll do anything for blog fodder. There should be a name for people like you.

    Just kidding, hon. I am so sorry to hear about your misfortune. I, too, have been at home this week because I have a superficial thrombophlebitis in my right leg. Feel better!

    About going home: I suggest you go home and let your parents take care of you for a while.

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  8. Am going on vacation. Will be thinking of you. I'll bring you back a special picture, maybe.

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