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In the central courtyard of Gorée prison, the sumptuously dressed inmates and guards in party clothes grab bowls, bottles, bits of wood and improvise on these makeshift instruments the famous "N'Deï Geï" by the great percussionist, Doudou N'Diaye Rose: "N'Deï Geï bajo N'Deï Geï dëfë neex te toy Karmen bajo Karmen dëfë neex te doy."
Marking eleven percussive beats with her swaying hips, Karmen asks the director to dance. At first taken aback by this effrontery, the director hesitates and then lets herself be carried away. She joins Karmen in the middle of the circle. A duo ensues whose beauty, fire and sensuality inflames Karmen’s companions.
In the rays of the sinking sun, the circle is enveloped in a cloud of dust and the bodies drenched in sweat are adorned with a thousand flames.
The citadel bellows, shakes its chains and sends this good company to one side or another of the cell bars… In the middle of the night, the prison director meets with Karmen in her cell. Freed early in the morning, Karmen dives into the ocean. A month later, in a working-class neighborhood in Dakar, Karmen seduces the police lieutenant Lamine Diop right in the middle of his wedding celebration and slashes with a knife his beautiful wife who tries to intervene.
The captain, father of the bride, arrests Karmen and orders Lamine, instantly demoted to corporal, to escort her to prison. Karmen tries to convince Lamine to free her…