The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: As One

As One is a really enjoyable film. It tells the true story of the onetime post-war union of North and South Korea’s table tennis teams. The film primarily focuses on the Korean women on the team and how they, especially Ri Bun-hui and Hyun Jung-hwa, come together despite all obstacles and become friends.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

As One passes the Bechdel and race test, but it does not pass the Russo test.

As One passes the Bechdel and race test as there are numerous occasions where named women talk to each other without mentioning men (since a lot of the characters are women), and non-White characters talk to each other without mentioning men (since most of the cast is Asian). As One does not pass the Russo test, however, as there are no LGBTI 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.

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