The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Close Range Love

Because Yuni (Komatsu Nana) is so bad at English, she is forced to take private lessons. While learning English from Sakurai Haruka (Yamashita Tomohisa), a teacher at her school, Yuni falls in love with him and the two begin a secret love affair. So, to put it simply, Close Range Love is a mess of a film which romanticizes a hebephilic relationship between a student and a teacher.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Close Range Love passes the Bechdel and race test but does not pass the Russo test.

There are a couple of women in Close Range Love who have names and who occasionally talk to each other. Men are almost always mentioned when named women talk to each other, but there is one instance where two named girls talk to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Yuni gives a named female student some instructions and advice on an experiment) so Close Range Love passes the Bechdel test. Close Range Love also passes the race test, and the film passes this test because while a White person is mentioned several times throughout the film, the entire cast is Asian so there are many instances where non-White people talk to each other without mentioning White people.

As to the Russo test, Close Range Love does not pass this test, and the film does not pass this test because 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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