The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Tusk

A podcaster who tells weird and interesting stories travels to Canada to interview a boy in Tusk. When the podcaster arrives in Canada, he learns that the boy had just killed himself so the podcaster pursues other possible stories to tell while he is there in Canada. The podcaster stumbles upon a strange flier in a bar restroom, and enticed by a possible story, the podcaster calls the maker of the flier and drives on over to the man’s house. However, once he arrives, he soon realizes that the man is not actually interested in telling any stories, and events quickly take a turn for the sinister.   

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Tusk did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

As to why the film did not pass any of these tests, named women never talked to each other without mentioning men, there were no LGBTI characters, and non-White characters never talked to each other.

*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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