The Bechdel, Russo and Race Test: Wadjda

Wadjda tells the story of a 10 year old girl in Saudi Arabia who wants a bike. 

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Wadjda passes the Bechdel and race test but does not pass the Russo test.

Wadjda passes the Bechdel test because most of the cast is female and there are several occasions where named women have conversations with each other without ever mentioning men. The film also passes the race test, and the film passes this test because the entire cast is presumably Saudi Arabian and because the characters never talk about White people.

While Wadjda passes the Bechdel and race test, it does not pass the Russo test, and the film does not pass this test because the film only hints at two girls as being a couple and because neither of these girls are important to the plot.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a film passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in film. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the film.

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