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 José's impulsive obsession.
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Andile Tshoni
as Sgt. Jongikhaya
Lungelwa Blou
as Nomakhaya
Zweilungile Sidloyi
as Lulamile Nkomo
Andries Mbali
as Bra Nkomo
Bulewa Cosa
as Mandisa
Ntobeko 'Top C' Rwanqa
as Sgt. Mongezi
Joel Mthethwa
as The Sangoma
Fika Majola
as Cigarette Girl
Gracious Mbatha
as Cigarette Girl
Sindiswa Mndela
as Cigarette Girl
Dipuo Mogoregi
as Cigarette Girl
Nobapostile Msongelwa
as Cigarette Girl
Zamile Christopher Gantana
as Captain Gantana
Bulelwa Cosa
as Mandisa
Zukile Gqadushe
as Eric's Friend
Zintle Mgole
as Faniswa
Lusindiso Dubula
as Policeman
Thobeka Bede
as Cigarette Girl
Mpontseng Nyantsa
as Cigarette Girl
Zoliswa Qumza
as Cigarette Girl
Thembela James
as Laborer
Sanele Mohlomi
as Shopkeeper
Ebenezer Sawuli
as Unemployed Man
Bongani Mbato
as Mthura
Fikile Khuzwayo
as Cigarette Girl
Bongani Bubu
as Policeman
Nandi Mahlangu
as Cigarette Girl
Jim Ngxabaze
as Photographer/Videographer
Portia Dladla
as Cigarette Girl
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News & Interviews for U-Carmen

Critic Reviews for U-Carmen

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8)

[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.

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.

Tammy Perlmutter
Tammy Perlmutter

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
Michael W

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