The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Maleficent

Predictably enough, Maleficent did not pass the Russo or race test, and the film did not pass these tests because 1) there were absolutely no LGBT characters and 2) because there was only one non-White character who had a speaking part (the one non-White character was a Black guardsman/soldier/knight[?] and seeing as there were no other non-White characters that he could converse with the film failed the race test).

Maleficent
, however, did pass the Bechdel test. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue in general, but when conversations did take place, quite a few of them (maybe half or more) were between females and several of the women’s conversations did not involve men.

*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.

Advertisements