Karmen Geï (Karmen Gei) (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Karmen Geï (Karmen Gei) (2001)

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Movie Info

The story of tempestuous Carmen, first told in a short story by Prosper Merimee and made famous in an opera by Georges Bizet, gets a new and striking modern-dress adaptation in this provocative drama with music. Karmen Gei (Jeinaba Diop Gai) is an inmate in a women's prison in Senegal; lusty, impulsive, and looking out for herself at all times, Karmen's uninhibited dancing and sensual demeanor excites the Sapphic passions of Angelique (Stephanie Biddle), the prison's warden, who allows herself to be seduced by the wanton Karmen. Once Angelique falls asleep, Karmen sees the coast is clear and escapes to town, where she is caught by military policeman Col. Lamine Diop (Magaye Adama Niang) after insulting factotums of the nation's military leadership. However, Diop proves no match for Karmen's seductive charms, and after having her way with him, she once again escapes and Diop finds himself behind bars. Karmen arranges for Diop's escape, but it isn't long before he realizes she is using him as a plaything and has little respect for him as a man; however, by this time he's too deeply addicted to Karmen's passions to turn away. While inspired in part by Bizet's opera, Karmen Gai boats an all-new score by David Murray, Julien Jouga, and Doudou Ndiaye Rose that draws on elements of pop, jazz, and Afro-pop for its original themes. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Jeinaba Diop Gai
as Karmen Gei
Magaye Niang
as Lamine Diop
Stéphanie Biddle
as Prison Gov. Angelique
Thierno Ndiaye
as Old Samba
Aissatou Diop
as Madjiguene
Widemir Normil
as Superintendent
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Critic Reviews for Karmen Geï (Karmen Gei)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (8)

The film becomes an overwhelming pleasure, and you find yourself rooting for Gai's character to avoid the fate that has befallen every other Carmen before her.

August 2, 2002 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

[Gai] comes closer to any actress I can remember to personifying independence in its purest and, yes, most intimidating form.

August 1, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4

Ultimately betrayed by a script, whose initially ambiguous charm gives way to disorder and confusion.

July 12, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Beautifully reclaiming the story of Carmen and recreating it an in an African idiom.

May 24, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A vibrant, colorful, semimusical rendition.

April 17, 2002

A worthy addition to the cinematic canon, which, at last count, numbered 52 different versions.

April 10, 2002 | Rating: 2/4

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