Directed by Cheryl Dunye • Documentary • With Cheryl Dunye, Zoie Strauss, Paula Cronan, Wanda Freeman, Shu Leah Cheang, • 1994 • 80 minutes
Vilified by conservatives in Congress, defended by major newspapers, and celebrated by audiences and festivals around the world as one of the most provocative, humorous and important filmmakers of our time, Cheryl Dunye practically invented a new form of cinema – call it the ‘Dunyementary.’ Using a mixture of narrative and documentary techniques, the ‘Dunyementary’ challenges social and cultural norms through a sharply funny and reflexive lens. Never scholarly or didactic, Dunye appreciates the value in entertaining viewers
Her acclaimed first feature The Watermelon Woman (1996) introduced Cheryl to wider audiences, who fell in love with her self-depreciating and insightful wit – not to mention the great casts she assembled (including herself). But what came before this modern-day classic?
Presented here are the films that started it all – the early works which gave birth to an extraordinary and original filmmaking talent. Made with great creativity on often miniscule budgets, they represent the first chapter of the Cheryl Dunye oeuvre.