U-Carmen eKhayelitsha is a feature film sung and spoken in Xhosa, one of South Africa’s eleven official languages. Based on Bizet’s opera Carmen, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha was shot in April/May 2004 in the township of Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, home to half a million people. The story of Carmen has over the years inspired a diversity of interpretations in film and theatre all over the world. Director Mark Dornford-May's adaptation is an impressive and entertaining film that relocates this tale of the love affair between Carmen and Don José in Khayelitsha, a shantytown in South Africa against the backdrop of
the hardship suffered by those who live in it. Framed within an atmospherical environment of gangsters and shebeens this interpretation is a celebration of South African dramatic art at its best.
A Dimpho Di Kopane Film, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha is the winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival and was in official selection in the Cannes Film Festival Tous les Cinemas du Monde.