The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Hot Road

In Hot Road, Kazuki (Rena Nounen), a 14-year-old girl who resents her mother, and Hiroshi (Hiroomi Tosaka), a 16-year-old boy in a biker gang, meet and collide and start the most unlikely of relationships.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Hot Road passes the Bechdel and race test but does not pass the Russo test.

Because there are three named women in Hot Road and there are two occasions where some of these named women talk to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Hiroko [Rina Ohta] greets Kazuki and Hiroko says farewell to Kazuki when Toru returns), Hot Road passes the Bechdel test. Hot Road also passes the race test, and the film easily passes this test because White people are never mentioned by any of the characters and all of the characters are Asian, so consequently, all of the conversations that occur in Hot Road pass the race test.

As to the Russo test, Hot Road comes nowhere close to passing this test as there aren’t any 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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