Four independent theaters in Sweden have launched a campaign to install a rating system that classifies films based on their representations of gender. Films will be approved with an “A-rating” if they pass the Bechdel test, named after Alison Bechdel, whose 1985 comic strip inspired its development. The Bechdel test has the minimal criteria that the film contains at least two female characters that talk to each other about something besides men. While this yardstick of measurement may seem easy enough, the amount of films passing the test has proven surprising scant.
Having nothing to do with the film’s overall quality, the rating is simply meant to raise awareness and orient attention towards the representation of gender. A group of cinemas in the Scandinavian country, including Bio Rio in Stockholm and Spegeln in Malmo, have initiated and gotten behind the cause, with further interest quickly increasing.