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Queer on Film: Watermelon Woman

The 1996 Black lesbian film that became essential viewing for 2020The coronavirus pandemic has come with an odd paradox for the movie business.

I saw this film just before the pandemic at the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Black History Curated Selection. this one and Go Fish were probably the most important lesbian movies of that decade – not coming out taking too long to lesbian or one or both dead at the end nor returned to the safety of heteronormativity, nor murders or vampires.

from the article:

More than two decades after its release, her groundbreaking arthouse film, The Watermelon Woman, has been making something of a mainstream comeback. News outlets like Vanity Fair and Complex are writing think pieces on the film’s significance. The Criterion Channel included her semi-autobiographical 1996 film in its Black cinema spotlight, as well as in its June 2020 Pride month lineup. That’s because the movie depicted intersectional struggle before “intersectionality” was even considered a thing: the story follows a Black lesbian filmmaker named Cheryl who works at a video rental store and who is making a documentary about a Black lesbian actress from the 1930s.


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