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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on Bizet's opera "Carmen," this film is sung and spoken in Xhosa, one of South Africa's eleven official languages.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Riveting update of George Bizet's "Carmen."
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    80
    Mr. Hazlewood’s strategy also draws attention to the lack of psychological detail in the central love triangle, which isn’t good. But the music still pierces, the blood still flows, and the overall conception is so original that even when the movie falters in the moment, it dazzles in the memory.
  3. Reviewed by: Julia Wallace
    80
    This was basically the best idea ever. The setting brims over with the same wicked froth of danger, exoticism, and passion that 19th-century Seville must have had before it got stylized into oblivion.
  4. 75
    It's vivid evidence that great music and stories transcend time and place.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard M. Porton
    70
    The film is never dull and often rousing, but this is essentially a conventional version of a classic opera--the attempt to transform it into a critique of macho hubris comes off as an afterthought, and the poverty is just a backdrop.
  6. Reviewed by: Russell Edwards
    60
    This version of Georges Bizet's frequently reinterpreted "Carmen" is spoken and sung in the click-punctuated African lingo of Xhosa and adapted to fit yarn's shift south, with a semi-cinema verite style cleverly disguising the artifice of the work's legit origins.
  7. Brilliantly sung by an extremely talented lyric theater company in Cape Town called Dimpho Di Kopane. Whether this all works will be a matter of opinion -- mine is that it does not -- but the experiment is fascinating.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. KatH
    Jun 20, 2008
    10
    Excellent version of Carmen. It was refreshing to see it from another cultural experience.
  2. BrianO.
    Apr 21, 2007
    9
    I saw this at the Indianapolis International Film Festival last year and the director and star were there - maybe I was star-struck, but I I saw this at the Indianapolis International Film Festival last year and the director and star were there - maybe I was star-struck, but I thought it was magnificent and Malefane has a truly lovely voice. May require being an opera fan for some, but I'm not terribly into opera and I loved it. A unique movie-going experience. Expand

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