CARMEN's universe unfolds in a world of extreme societal control, where individuals are forbidden to have physical contact. The only escape from this authoritarian society is an immersive virtual reality where individuals create an avatar self. Unlike in the real world, everything goes in this virtual universe. Everyone has the freedom to make their voice heard, to choose their gender, their appearance, and to let their desires run wild.
José and Micaëla meet in the real world, but the rules prevent them from getting to know each other better. In the virtual world, José plays the character of Carmen, and Micaëla plays The Toreador. José makes his debut in this world as a woman. The Toreador, on the other hand, is already a respected and established figure in the virtual world. Carmen represents love, freedom, protest and hope.
But just after entering the virtual world, Carmen experiences a terrible humiliation that shakes José. All of José and Micaëla’s virtual world emotions start to spill over into the real world.
During a scene in which The Toreador is crowned “King of the Virtual,” we get a real glimpse into the chaos of the virtual universe. The stunning, colourful aesthetic is an explicit nod to video game culture.
Tensions reach an all-time high during a sensual scene in which José/Micaëla and Carmen/The Toreador play each pair as mirror images, dancing the same choreography.
Overcome by emotion, José decides to leave the virtual world by breaking his VR headset, effectively “killing” his avatar, Carmen.