Failing the Bechdel test
The Bechdel test started life in a comic strip and has become a rule of thumb for a piece of work's treatment of female characters. Does the film contain two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.
Ribblehead fails the Bechdel test, sadly. We desperately wanted it to pass, and we filmed a whole separate story arc for Sarah Smithson, but due to the demands of story and running time it ended up on the cutting room floor.
The hope was that the character of Sarah in the film had enough agency and presence to help us pass the test in spirit, if not in formula.
All the strong plot developments come from Sarah, and in many ways she is the film's protagonist to Mark's antagonist. he creates the problems and she solves them, right to the end. But she has less screen time, and the film is not about her.
But nor really is it about him. And the point, by the end is for Mark to make the story as little about him as possible, and as much about them. Did we succeed? Let us know in the comments.