The libretto/screenplay was translated into Xhosa by Pauline Malefane, who also sang the title role, and I found it stimulating to hear the familiar emotions of the score evoked in an entirely unfamiliar language. The dramatic engagement of the singers was, without exception, commendable, which certainly helped. The chemistry between the singers, and the intensity of their acting, contributed considerably to the emotional impact of the film. The women of the factory are given in the film more solidarity, and more collective and individual personality, than Bizet makes overt. Frasquita and Mercedes are made obviously Carmen's friends and confidantes. The familiar characters of the drama are present: Micaela, outwardly meek and surprisingly determined, Don Jose who can with fatal ease ignore his moral certainties or twist them to justify his own ends. Carmen herself (in a brilliant performance by Malefane) is very clearly a seeker after liberty, and the film refuses to follow Don Jose (and, alas, many opera productions) in viewing her primarily as a seductress and sexual object. I found it refreshingly direct: an immersive, original spin on Bizet's work well worth visiting and revisiting.