Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[3]] Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by Robin on 2013-01-27 01:04:42.



Robin said:

There are 4 named female characters: Gretel, Muriel the evil witch, Mina the white witch, and Adrianna, the children's mother (seen only in flashback)in addition to several covens' worth of mostly female witches. (Two of them are referred to on IMDB as "Horned Witch" and "Red-Headed Witch", which aren't exactly names, although they definitely play a significant role in the action.) Gretel and Muriel have several conversations and plenty of interaction; although the big plot-twist conversation involves Hansel as well (not surprising, since it reveals their backstory and what happened to their parents), I think there's more than enough discussion/ass-whooping between Gretel alone and Muriel for this to qualify--the main storyline is the relationship between the siblings, and their attempting to save the children by killing as many witches as possible; the Hansel/Mina relationship, such as it is, is very much secondary. (Muriel and Mina also interact near the end, and while technically it involves Hansel, it's not about him as it is Muriel overpowering and killing Mina. Either way, though, Gretel and Muriel together are enough for the movie to pass the test.)

Message posted on 2013-01-27 01:04:42
Victor said:
I don't remember Muriel being named in the film. During their first conversation, Gretel even asks her what her name is, and she responds that Gretel is unworthy of pronouncing her name. Even -I- feel like that's too much of a technicality anyway, though, and I too would pass the film based on that conversation alone.

One possibly interesting aspect of this film is that, to me at least, violence seems to be played out in a surprisingly egalitarian manner. There is male-on-female violence, female-on-male violence, male-on-male violence, and female-on-female violence, and it's all treated pretty much the same way, without female characters being treated as any weaker or less capable than male characters when it comes to violence.
Message posted on 2013-02-19 04:28:17
Someone said:
We must not forget that the main character, technically, was Gretel. Hansel did have participation, but the whole plot was developed around Gretel, as a good witch, as a hunter, as a strong female that doesn't cower before men. Hansel knows that and he does not treat her lightly, or does this with Mina, for all that matters.

And, yes, the violence isn't directed only towards the women and they fight back. All the time.
Message posted on 2013-09-20 18:37:49
Anon said:
I agree that the movie passes the test.

However I'm surprised that no mention has been made of some of the problems with it, namely that the witches can apparently only be women. Only women have that dangerous power, and the vast majority here are evil. Of course the whole point is that there are good witches too, but that doesn't negate the fact that most of them are bad and all of them are women.

Additionally, although Gretel is arguably the main character, I was irritated by the fact that even though she and Hansel are both hunters, she still ends up as the damsel in distress for Hansel to save. Gretel does fight back, but she needs to be rescued by a man three times (once by Hansel, once by Edward, and once by...the kid whose name I forget).

This movie definitely showed a stronger side to women than most do, but it's not without its problems.
Message posted on 2014-01-16 01:27:18
Lana said:
@Anon That's more a problem with the witch mythology itself - historically accusations were usually targeted towards women.

While Gretel is oftentimes put in the damsel in distress position, it should be that Hansel must often be rescued as well. (Gretel saves him when they're kids, Mina helps him with a spell, and Gretel once again gives him a magic insulin injection). They aren't all hostage situations, but still.
Message posted on 2014-04-10 00:53:09

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