The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Into the Woods

In Into the Woods, several different Brothers Grimm fairytales (namely, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood) collide and form one story, and the characters are forced to face the disastrous consequences of their wishes and desires.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Into the Woods does not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

Into the Woods does not pass the Bechdel test because there are only three named women in Into the Woods, and because there are so few named women in the film, named women never actually talk to each other.

Into the Woods also does not pass the Russo test because there are no LGBTI characters, and the film does not pass the race test because the few non-White characters that are in the film do not ever speak let alone speak 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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