Karmen Geï (Senegal: 2001)


Joseph, Gaï Ramaka

Cast list

Karmen Gaï : Djeïnaba Diop Gaï

Lamine Diop : Magaye Niang

Prison Gov. Angelique : Stéphanie Biddle

Old Samba : Thierno Ndiaye

Ma Penda : Dieynaba Niang

Massigi : El Hadj Ndiaye

Majiguene : Aïssatou Diop

Superintendant : Widemir Normil

Beach Singer : Yandé Codou Sène

Mansour : Massamba Madieye

Sidar : Ibrahima Mbaye

Inspector Tall : Coly Mbaye

Calki : Abasse Wade

Policeman Laye : Ibrahima Khalil Paye

Marie-Madeleine : Patricia Gomis


Writer : Joseph Gaï Ramaka ( inspired by Carmen, a novel by Prosper Mérimé)

Producer : Richard Sadler

Executive Producer : Philippe Cosson

Director of Photography : Bertrand Chatry

Production Designer : Miklos Meletopoulos

Editor : Hélène Girard

Associate Producer : Ghael Samb Sall

Costume Designer : Mame Fagueye Ba

Music Composer : David Murray, Julien Jouga and Doudou Ndiaye Rose  


Karmen Geï is a reinterpretation of Bizet’s eponymous opera. We follow the story of the young and sulphurous Karmen who’s incarcerated in a women’s prison in Dakar. Through the use of her charms and sensual dancing Karmen escapes captivity by seducing her warden Angelique.While in town she is then caught by policeman Lamine Diop who falls in turn under the spell of the tumultuous women and end up being dragged with her into a downward spiral. The movie Karmen Geï is inherently transgressive and challenges the traditional norms of West African society with a female lead that embodies freedom in its purest state. 


Mitchell, Elvis. “FILM REVIEW; Driving Men, and Women, Crazy.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 Apr. 2002. here ! 

Murray, Noel. “Karmen Geï.” Film, Film.avclub.com, 17 Apr. 2002. here !

Academic Articles

Nelson, Steven. “Karmen Geï: Sex, the State, and Censorship in Dakar.” African Arts, vol. 44, no. 1, 2011, pp. 74–81. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41330708.

Oteng, Yaw. “Joseph Gaï Ramaka’s ‘Karmen Geï’ and Female Subjectivity in the African Urban Landscape.” The French Review, vol. 85, no. 3, 2012, pp. 460–471. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41346264.

Ayo A. Coly. (2016) Carmen Goes Postcolonial, Carmen Goes Queer: Thinking the Postcolonial as Queer. Culture, Theory and Critique 57:3, pages 391-407.

Entry published by : Dior Sow

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