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CT Cinematic: The Watermelon Woman

(English below)

De 90s queer klassieker! Op donderdagavond 21 oktober is The Watermelon Woman eenmalig te zien bij CT Cinematic inclusief spoken word performance en Q & A. Het is een veelgeprezen werk dat LGBTQIA+ issues en racisme weet te bespreken op een grappige, intelligente manier en tevens voorloper is van het mockumentary genre. Deze film mag niet missen in je queer canon!

Cheryl is een 25-jarige, zwarte, queer vrouw die samen met haar vriendin Tamara in een videotheek in Philadelphia werkt. Ze is geïnteresseerd in films uit de jaren dertig en veertig met zwarte actrices, en merkt op dat de actrices in deze rollen vaak niet worden gecrediteerd. Na het bekijken van een film met de titel Plantation Memories waarin een zwarte actrice die een mammy speelt alleen wordt gecrediteerd als “The Watermelon Woman”, besluit ze een documentaire te maken waarin ze de identiteit van The Watermelon Woman probeert te achterhalen. Deze zoektocht blijkt er één naar haar eigen identiteit, als de parallelen tussen Cheryl en The Watermelon Woman zich opstapelen. 83 min. | 1996

LET OP: De film is Engels gesproken, met Engelse ondertiteling. Het voor- en naprogramma is tevens Engels gesproken.

Voor- en naprogramma

Voorafgaand aan de film om 20:00 is er een een poëtische ode aan Black lesbianism door spoken word artist Ezra Felide. Na afloop van de film is er een Q & A met Simone Dunye, kunstenaar en kind van de filmmaker Cheryl Dunye. De avond wordt gemodereerd door Nychenda Fecunda van KLAUW Collective. Lees meer over de gasten onderaan deze pagina.

Deze avond wordt georganiseerd in samenwerking met KLAUW Collective. Cineville-kaarthouders kunnen bij vertoon van hun pas aan de kassa dit programma voor 5 euro bijwonen. 

English Text:

A 90s queer classic! On Thursday, October 21st, CT Cinematic will gather for a one-time only screening of The Watermelon Woman including Spoken Word performance and Q & A. It’s an acclaimed work that discusses LGBTQIA+ and racism issues in a funny, intelligent way and a pioneer of the mockumentary genre. A movie that should not be missed in your queer canon!

Cheryl is a 25-year-old black queer woman who works at a video store in Philadelphia with her friend Tamara. She is interested in films from the 1930s and 1940s with black actresses, noting that the actresses in these roles are often not credited. After watching a movie called Plantation Memories in which a black actress who plays a mammy is only credited as “The Watermelon Woman”, she decides to make a documentary trying to figure out The Watermelon Woman’s identity. The quest turns out to be an exploration of her own identity, as the parallels between Cheryl and The Watermelon Woman become clear. 83 min. | 1996

Context Program

At 8PM, we start the program with an ode to Black lesbianism in poetic style by spoken word artist Ezra Felide. After the film, there will be a Q&A with Simone Dunye, artist and child of the director of the film, Cheryl Dunye. The movie is English spoken with English subtitles. The rest of the program is also English-spoken and moderated by Nychenda Fecunda from KLAUW Collective.

This evening is made in collaboration with KLAUW Collective. Cineville card holders can visit this program for 5 euros by showing their card at the box office. 


Writer and Director: Cheryl Dunye

Producer: Barry Swimar & Alexandra Juhasz

Restoration Producer: Marc Smolowitz

Co-producer: Cate Wilson

Editor and Co-executive Producer: Annie Taylor

Executive Producer: Michael Light

Director of Photography: Michelle Crenshaw

Music Supervisor: Bill Coleman

Digitally remastered for the 20th anniversary in 2016.

  • About Ezra Felida

    Ezra Felida (they/them & he/him) is a singer and songwriter. He is also an aspiring social worker, intent on improving the quality of care for the local trans community.

  • About Simone Dunye

    Simone Dunye (they/them) is the child of filmmaker Cheryl Dunye and lives in Amsterdam. They work for their mother’s company JingleTown Films as a podcaster. As an artist they are working almost exclusively in handmade paper or print primarily concerning fantasy and process.

  • About Nychenda Fecunda

    Nychenda Fecunda (she/her) is a sociologist who graduated cum laude from Erasmus University with an MA thesis on decolonial archiving practices. She is also a host and mc for the Rotterdam based KLAUW collective and part of the Dutch and Mexican ballroom scenes.

  • About KLAUW Collective

    We felt a serious need for more spaces that catered to us and our community. So in early 2019 four friends came together, started KLAUW Collective and hosted club nights for and by queer people of color. We created spaces where the minorities became the majority. Spaces where we could enjoy our music and see a crowd made up of our people, from different backgrounds and different walks of life. Our goal was to have one night where you stepped into a different reality and let go of all expectations and norms that were set by others in ‘the real world’. And to create a place where you’re not only free to express yourself the way you want to, but where you’ll  also be safe while you do it. We’ve since broadened our horizon and currently also curate exhibitions, hostings, workshops and a magazine with the same intentions.

    With a pandemic throwing a wrench in our club hosting plans, we wanted to find a way to give our work another meaning. Especially in times as uncertain as these, we felt it was more necessary than ever to give our community something tangible to hold on to. And thus: KLAUW mag was born. This new project not only enabled us to continue to adhere to our original goal of giving creatives a platform. But it also allowed us to still engage with our audience, to showcase what our community has in store and tell stories from our own unfiltered perspectives.

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