The Girl in the Watermelon

Director: Sergio Castilla
Screenwriters: Sergio Castilla

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


This coming-of-age comedy chronicles the dreams and aspirations of a New York teenager who sets out to find the father she's never known. Filmed in the modern multicultural kingdoms of Brooklyn and Manhattan, The Girl in the Watermelon introduces us to Samantha (Meredith Scott Lynn), who is about to turn eighteen and, like most teenagers at that age, is tired of life with her mother. She’s also upset by her mother’s imminent engagement to a boyfriend Samantha can’t stand. Obsessed with discovering who her real father is, she begins a quest that leads to two men, as different from each other as they can possibly be. But rather than reacting with the rejection she has anticipated, each man is delighted with the prospect of having a daughter.

Director Sergio Castilla displays a superb talent for nuances of character and environment in structuring this thoroughly playful yet intelligent delight about a girl’s process of discovery about her own identity. Complete with colorful Freudian metaphors and scorned suitors, The Girl in the Watermelon is a charming yet complex tale which is essentially romantic and paints a romanticized portrait (but not an untrue one) of New York with its eclectic rhythms and style. It is a world of “open-hydrant summer afternoons . . . and every night made for music.” The Girl in the Watermelon is cinematic poetry which will carry you away.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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