BEING BEBE

★★★

A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN AT 'DRAG RACE'S' FIRST WINNER

MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
13th February 2022

'RuPaul's Drag Race' is one of the biggest competition shows of the 21st century. Its impact exceeds its LGBTQIA+ representation and unlike many other similar shows, its quotability makes it extremely rewatchable. It's rare for a competition show to be as re-watched as much as 'Drag Race' is.

BeBe Zahara Benet was the first-ever winner of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' back in 2009. BeBe is very reserved and private, and in the years since winning as the show got bigger and bigger, it become hard for her to stay relevant while also trying to succeed past her title. 'Being BeBe' offers a really unique access, showing everything to before, during and after the crown. The film was originally meant to document BeBe on her biggest year yet, but due to the pandemic that didn't happen. Instead, the film takes a new shape, with BeBe looking back over decades of videos and reflecting on her journey so far.

'BEING BEBE' TRAILER

BeBe has always been one of the more restrained queens from the show, and while the documentary attempts to dive deeper, the documentary falls flat. I think that's partly due to a lack of personal interest in her. We do get really great access, from the behind-the-scenes of her preparing for 'Drag Race' to her failed shows, and it really is interesting to see all this uncovered footage.

If you're a fan of 'Drag Race', it's definitely worth seeing and you will find some moments generally interesting, but again, due the subject being quieter than other queens, the film does feel like it can never go too deep.

If you're a fan of 'Drag Race', it's definitely worth seeing and you will find some moments generally interesting, but due the subject being quieter than other queens, the film does feel like it can never go too deep.

The film also takes an interesting look at LGBTQIA+ rights in BeBe's country, Cameroon, and details some of the struggles that many would not know about.

For fans of the Queen of Cameroon, this is an engaging 90 minutes. For people who only know her from 'Drag Race', it does serve as a jumping-off point to show more of her personality, but never goes deep enough to be fully worthwhile.

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