Transported across time and space from its original staging in Seville, Spain ca. 1820, dancer/choreographer and first-time filmmaker Benjamin Millepied’s tour de force reimagining of one of history’s most famous operas is a bold and adventurous modern-day love story set in the Sonoran Desert spanning the Mexico–United States border.
To escape a murderous cartel, the captivating young Carmen (Melissa Barrera) is northbound, her route traversing an area patrolled by the U.S. government and fanatical Americans who hunt people for sport. Mixed into the horde is local veteran Aidan (Paul Mescal, AFTERSUN), dragged into the ignoble mission as a means of earning money for his impoverished family. Soon, the star-crossed sweethearts intersect and, with hearts leading the way, take the wheel with Los Angeles on the horizon. But as the song goes, l’amour est un oiseau rebelle — and perhaps love may not be enough when the laws of physics and men aren’t far behind.
Millepied is a French-born, American-trained ballet dancer who choreographed and performed in Darren Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN and held the esteemed position of director of dance at the Paris Opéra Ballet. Dynamic and fiery dance performances replace classic arias, binding the film’s powerful soundtrack scored by Nicholas Britell (MOONLIGHT, Succession).
“When CARMEN puts its two leads together, anything seems possible.”—David Ehrlich, IndieWire “An enthralling love story which would not work without Mr. Mescal’s quiet decency. It cannot be recommended highly enough.” —Sarah Manvel, Critic's Notebook “Benjamin Millepied delivers a thrilling version of Georges Bizet’s 19th-century opera…. By stripping the story back to its most elemental form, Millepied makes it feel mythic, poetic, and captivatingly romantic.” —Ross McIndoe, Slant Magazine