Reviews & Quotes | Being BeBe
The New York Times | Natalia Winkelman
CRITIC'S PICK: "In the perspicacious documentary Being BeBe,’ the director Emily Branham seems to have taken a page from Janet Malcolm. Within her profile of Marshall Ngwa, who performs drag as BeBe Zahara Benet, Branham tucks lucid insights about the codes, ethics and art of cinematic biography.”
POV Magazine | Pat Mullen
“Being BeBe illustrates how the mainstream success for queer artists remains a hard won battle and is doubly difficult for artists of colour ... The film is also a telling human rights portrait about the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights worldwide.”
Cornell University's Delta Kappa Alpha Professional Cinematic Society | Emily Vo
"Being able to screen Being BeBe and speak with Emily and Marshall for a Q&A was an unforgettable experience! As aspiring filmmakers, we were able to speak with both Marshall and Emily on storytelling through music, film, and performance. Witnessing Marshall’s own story from the early days of BeBe and growing into the icon today was incredibly interesting and heartwarming in sharing times of joy and vulnerability. The Q&A session not only elevated this screening but provided a chance to dig deeper and meet the people involved in this unique storytelling experience. "
Matthew's Place | Judy Bokao
"This necessary documentary comes at a time when drag performances are being threatened with anti-LGBTQ laws. A drag queen story told with integrity is exactly the positive representation we could all use right now."
Documentary.org (International Documentary Association) | Lauren Wissot
"Emily Branham’s Being BeBe is a revealing walk (uh, sashay) down memory lane with the titular BeBe Zahara Benet."
Movie Marker (UK) | Jasmine Valentine
"🌟🌟🌟🌟 Being BeBe is an abundant intersection of cultural issues....the drag documentary that the modern world needs to see."
OutRight Action International | Micheal Ighodaro
“Moving, captivating, inspiring – It’s everything…Millions of people across the globe – especially young black queer people – will be very moved and inspired.”
Hollywood Reporter | David Rooney
"Bottom line: Shantay, you stay."
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Neal Justin and Chris Hewitt
"...the former Gay 90's standout is a natural camera subject, so it's zippy fun to hang in the Benet world."
BFI Flare | Jay Bernard
"Heartfelt and fun...An uproarious, joyous portrait."
Queer Guru | Roger Walker-Dack
“Watching BeBe create his craft as an artist is nothing less than inspiring...a truly refreshingly honest & entertaining up close and personal profile.”
Provincetown Magazine | Steve Desroches
“Lovingly explored....a document of what can happen in America when imagination and diversity are embraced.”
The Spool | B.L. Panther
“Remarkably woven together…puts queer struggle into a global perspective.”
Out Chicago WCPT | Ellen Miller & Scott Duff
“An immigrant success story…entertaining & poignant…the drag version of Rocky!”
MPR Art Hounds | Nick Kouhi
“An intimate, contemplative film that is also a really powerful testament to art and the value of art and how art can express oneself.”
Black Girl Nerds | Stacey Yvonne
“Relatable and triumphant.”
Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine | Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
“A very Minnesota story full of local stars…This film shows a good, real, and little-seen side of our beloved hometown.”
Alliance of Women Journalists | Valerie Kalfrin
"[Being BeBe is...] a warm profile of an effervescent personality who radiates self-acceptance and encourages others to do the same."
Reel News Daily | Elizabeth Whittemore
"Being BeBe is a heartfelt and honest look at the artist pushing boundaries without pause."
Vague Visages | Joey Keough
“Branham is given unprecedented access into Marshall/Bebe’s world. Despite the challenges of filming during the COVID-19 pandemic, she retains a direct connection to her subject, sensitively teasing everything out even as viewers learn that “BeBe hates being vulnerable.”
DrewRosome.com | Drew Rowsome
"The rags to riches to rags saga of an ambitious drag queen is fascinating, fierce and fabulous. And Marshall/Bebe is an engaging and lovable subject who never fails to entertain or have a quip.”
In The Seats | Paolo Kagaoan
"There’s an interesting bit of editing in Emily Branham’s Being Bebe."
The Washington Blade | John Paul King
“An up-close look at a performer whose emotional journey raises timely concerns at the intersection of LGBTQ, BIPOC, and immigrant lives today.”
RealityYeo.com | Deb Yeo
“It’s easy to get swept up in the glamorous artifice of drag and forget that it’s a hard, and not always lucrative, way to make a living. The documentary “Being BeBe,” which highlights 15 years in the life of drag artist BeBe Zahara Benet, is clear-eyed about this reality.”
"RuPaul's Drag Race" Winner BeBe Zahara Benet Looks Back on 15 Years in Drag in New Documentary | Mike Bloom, Parade
Women and Hollywood | Cassandra Nicholson
NewNowNext.com | Christopher Rudoplh
Xtra* | Sarah Taher
Edina Sun Current | Caitlin Anderson
What Not to Doc | Basil Tsiokos
Girl Talk HQ | Asha Dahya