U-Carmen (2005)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Against the backdrop of the hardship suffered by those living in a South African township, a sensuous, independent woman's love of freedom and courage endures even when faced with death. Carmen's passion clashes with Don Josť's impulsive obsession.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Andiswa Kedama, Mark Dornford-May, Pauline Malefane, Charles Hazlewood
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 25, 2000
Koch Lorber Films - Official Site



as Sgt. Jongikhaya

as Nomakhaya

as Lulamile Nkomo

as Mandisa

as Bra Nkomo

as The Sangoma

as Cigarette Girl

as Cigarette Girl

as Cigarette Girl

as Cigarette Girl

as Captain Gantana

as Mandisa

as Eric's Friend

as Faniswa

as Cigarette Girl

as Cigarette Girl

as Cigarette Girl

as Shopkeeper

as Unemployed Man

as Cigarette Girl

as Policeman

as Cigarette Girl

as Photographer/Videogr...

as Cigarette Girl
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Critic Reviews for U-Carmen

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (9)

[Director] Dornford-May deftly balances the details of his setting with the universality of his themes, exploring every dusty corner of a village thrumming with tension between patriarchal leaders and strong-willed women.

Full Review… | March 30, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

No one can know whether Bizet would have approved of the movie musical U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha. But you suspect that he would have admired the filmmakers' gall.

March 28, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

A vivacious film that is a treat for eyes and ears.

Full Review… | March 28, 2007
New York Post
Top Critic

This was basically the best idea ever.

Full Review… | March 28, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

Performances and singing are both on the money, and the film's organic, realistic feel seems to have been bolstered by the translation contribution that thesps Malefane and Andiswa Kedama made to the screenplay.

Full Review… | July 28, 2006
Top Critic

The main attraction is the performance of Carmen by the magnificent Pauline Malefane, who also translated the libretto into Xhosa.

Full Review… | July 28, 2006
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for U-Carmen


This was a unique rendition of the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. If you enjoy opera, or want to see a real South African movie sung in Xhosa, than this movie is for you.


A worthy interpretation - maintains most qualities of the original story and presents some very strong musical performances.


An embarrassingly self-conscious movie. Totally inappropriate transfer of cultural worlds so far apart as to be in different universes. Terrrible movie.

Michael W

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