The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Twenty

Twenty is a coming-of-age film starring Kim Woo-Bin, Lee Joon-Ho and Kang Ha-Neul who play the part of friends who are entering their twenties. In this film, the trio experience excitement, disillusionment, love, disappointment and pain as they struggle through their twenties and try to figure out what in the world life as an adult is like.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Twenty passes the race test but does not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Twenty is a South Korean film with an entirely Asian cast save for two background characters who are Black and White. Throughout the film, White people are never mentioned by any of the characters so every conversation that occurs in Twenty (and thus the film itself) passes the race test as only non-White people ever talk.

In regards to the Bechdel test, Twenty does not pass this test, and the film does not pass this test because while there are two or three instances where named women talk to each other, men are always mentioned. Twenty also does not pass the Russo 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 television. 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.

Advertisements