image+nation culture queer


Emily Branham | USA 2021 | 90 min | ENGLISH

Before and after the reality show, there is still reality. This intimate profile turns the spotlight on charismatic drag performer Marshall Ngwa, a.k.a BeBe Zahara Benet, who immigrated to the United States with dreams of a better life, and became the first winner of the now-iconic reality show, RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2009. 

Using over 15 years of archival clips and interviews, from his upbringing in homophobic Cameroon and his rise through the amateur drag performance circuit all the way to award-winning American television, a music career, and his recent performance tour, this entertaining and insightful close-up chronicles the ups and downs of a hardworking creative artist who is helping define the modern queer Black experience and celebrate Queer Black Excellence in the 2020s. With over a decade of intimate access to Marshall’s story, Being BeBe: the BeBe Zahara Benet Documentary presents his unique love affair with performance alongside his unstoppable sense of persistence and purpose, offering an unprecedented portrait of an artist who chooses to live a creative life against all odds.