The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man passed the race test, but failed the Russo and (maybe) the Bechdel test.

There were several non-White characters in A Most Wanted Man, and there were a few brief occasions when they spoke to each other and didn’t mention a White character so the film passed the race test.

As to why the film did not pass the Russo test, there were absolutely no LGBT characters in A Most Wanted Man, and film did not pass the Bechdel test because female characters only spoke to each other maybe two or three times, and to the best of my knowledge, they always mentioned a man.

*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