Music Box Films via Everett Collection
A few cinemas in Sweden have added a new rating–a Bechdel test rank. The test (devised by feminist graphic novelist Alison Bechdel) measures whether two named female characters talk for any period of time about something that is not a man. It's surprising how few films pass the test: none of the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars films would pass, and only one of the Harry Potter movies would receive an A.
Of course there are movies that can be seen as positive for women that don't pass the test (Run Lola Run), as well as movies that are offensive or that could be seen as damaging to feminism that do (Sucker Punch). But what these cinemas are accomplishing is drawing attention to a discrepency in the cinematic big picture. Would people go to a sci-fi film in which men rarely spoke? Maybe that film will have to be made in order to tell. Just by making this their policy, these Swesish movie theaters have drawn attention to an issue and solution that has previously only been known to a select few.
Find out if your favorite films pass the test at BechdelTest.com.