The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Sing Street

A coming-of-age story, Sing Street tells the tale of a young Irish man (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) in the 80s who makes a band in order to impress a girl (Lucy Boynton), and how through this process, he discovers friendship, love, and most importantly, himself.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Sing Street does not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

Sing Street 2
Cosmo forms a band and they make their very first music video.

Sing Street’s cast is very male and White and as such it should come as no surprise that the film fails to pass both the Bechdel and race test. To be more specific as to how and why Sing Street fails to pass these diversity tests, there are a couple of named women and non-White individuals in the film but because named women never talk to each other and two or more non-White individuals never talk to each other, the film fails to meet all of the Bechdel and race tests’ requirements and thus does not pass these tests.

As to the Russo test, because there are no identifiably LGBTI characters in Sing Street, the film also fails to pass this diversity test.

*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.