BEING BEBE (2021) with BeBe Zahara Benet and filmmaker Emily Branham

Thursday, Mar 9, 2023 5 – 8 pm

Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201

Thursday, March 9, TWO-PART EVENT
5 PM CST, Film screening at The Block, in-person
7 PM CST, Dialogue at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, in-person & livestream

Dean E. Patrick Johnson hosts a special screening and discussion with alumni filmmaker Emily Branham and pop provocateur BeBe Zahara Benet.

BEING BEBE is the story of Marshall Ngwa, a Cameroonian artist whose identity hinges on the complicated success of his drag persona, BeBe Zahara Benet. Grounded by Marshall’s own present-day narration, the film features 15 years of vérité, interviews, and performances. Viewers follow Marshall’s remarkable immigrant journey from the earliest days of his amateur drag performance career in Minneapolis, circa 2006, to becoming the first winner of the now-iconic reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2009. As Marshall fights to maintain the trajectory of his career despite a series of difficult setbacks, the film reveals what it means to celebrate and advance Queer Black Excellence during the 2020s. Alongside Marshall's story, viewers are introduced to LGBTQ+ youth and activists in Cameroon, where Queer identity is criminalized. 

Immediately following the in-person film screening of BEING BEBE, Dialogue with the Dean will occur at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, next door to the Block Museum of Art, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CDT with both in person and virtual attendees.