The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: We Are the Best!

We Are the Best! was a film that told the story of three 13 year old girls who formed a punk band.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Luckily, We Are the Best! was not a film where there’s a bunch of female characters, but they never speak to each other, or they only talk about boys. This film, instead, mostly features dialogue between girls and women and because there were tons of moments where they (the women and girls) never mentioned men, the film passed the Bechdel test. We Are the Best!, however, did not pass the Russo or race test as there were no LGBT or non-White characters in the film.

*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