Free Screening at Dunbar Pavilion

Watermelon Man


This free screening will be held indoors at DUNBAR PAVILION, 325 W. 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ, 85705. Seating is provided. Presented by Tucson Black Film Club.

This screening is part of Solar Cinema, a program that allows the community to enjoy a free screening of a film of their choosing! This program travels throughout Southern Arizona equipped with a cargo van outfitted with solar panels (donated by a local company) to power a 12 or 20-foot inflatable screen and state-of-the-art mobile projection system.

“Clever … insightful … Watermelon Man is a stirring film that entertains and enlightens.” – Nasser Metcalfe,

Melvin Van Peebles’s only foray into Hollywood filmmaking, Watermelon Man is one of the most audacious, radically conceived works to be financed by a major American studio in the 1970s. Comedian Godfrey Cambridge delivers a virtuoso performance (initially in whiteface) as Jeff Gerber, a loudmouthed, bigoted white insurance salesman whose sitcom-like suburban existence is jarringly upended when he wakes up to discover, in a wild spin on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, that he has become a Black man. What ensues is a ferocious satire of society’s racist double standards that gradually transforms into an empowering portrait of awakening Black consciousness, executed with a mix of acerbic irreverence and deadly serious political commentary by a relentlessly subversive Van Peebles. (Dir. Melvin Van Peebles, 1970, USA, 100 mins., Rated R)

This screening is part of Loft Film Fest on the Road, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with support from Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment.