Karmen Gei (2001) IMDB

IMDb – Karmen Gei (2001).

Karmen gei Movie Poster












“Karmen” Analysed by Joanna Grabski …

Karmen Gei Written and directed by Joseph Gai Ramaka, produced by Richard Sadler 82 minutes, color 2001, Senegal In French and Wolof with English subtitles VHS distributed by California Newsreel and DVD distributed by Kino International

Based loosely on Georges Bizet‘s 1875 opera Carmen, Karmen Gei is the first African film musical of this frequently adapted tale. (1) In Karmen Gei, Senegalese filmmaker Joseph Gai Ramaka deploys several creative interventions to re-imagine the legendary story from 1820’s Spain to postcolonial, urban Senegal. Gai Ramaka is not especially invested in delivering a faithful rendition of the well-known Carmen plot. Rather, his production focuses on exploring both the exuberance and destructive power of Karmen’s character. Gai Ramaka takes the Carmen prototype, originally a free-spirited gypsy, and reframes her within the prism of Senegalese life in particular and postcolonial Africa in general. In this frame, Karmen is not just an independent, free-spirited woman whose voracious carnal desire leads to her tragic fate. She is also an outlaw, sexual maverick, and political dissident. Within the first ten minutes of the film, Gai Ramaka establishes Karmen as a veritable force of nature capable of destabilizing anyone and anything in her path. As the chorus of women inmates sings, “Be careful! Hide your women, hide your men. Karmen has come! She who creates havoc is here.”


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