Carmen.maquia is a story about the fiery love of Don José, a Spanish soldier, for the beautiful Romani woman Carmen. Sadly, it’s a love that doesn’t end well.
Don José has just taken up a new post in the barracks in Seville, opposite the cigar factory where Carmen and the other women work. The soldiers and the factory girls encounter each other daily on the square between the barracks and the factory. All the guys are attracted to Carmen: she is strong, rebellious and enjoys flirting. Don José falls for her too, even though he doesn’t intend to. He has promised his heart to Micaela, a sweet and gentle girl from his home village. When Micaela visits him in Seville she reminds him of their strong bond. She also gives him a letter from his mother (visualised as a long necklace chain), who also wishes for Don José to marry Micaela.
Shortly afterwards panic breaks out in the cigar factory: Carmen gets into a fight with one of the girls. For this she is sent to prison, and Don José is given the task of guarding her. But she puts his head in a spin and convinces him to let her go. As punishment for this, Don José himself is now sent to prison for several weeks.
The tough and cool bullfighter Escamillo appears in the local café. All the girls think he’s fantastic, but Carmen ignores him. She wants to be different from all the others and there’s no way she’ll let herself be easily won over. What’s more, she’s now in a relationship with Don José, even though she keeps testing his love. She challenges him to go into the mountains with a group of smuggler, meaning he has to choose between her and his duties as a soldier. His love is so great that he decides to risk everything for her.
But Carmen gets bored quickly – and in fact she soon hooks up with Escamillo, too. Don José is deeply hurt and he fights with Escamillo over Carmen, who in the meantime has laid out a tarot card that predicts her future: things will not go well for her.
Don José begs Carmen to stay with him, but she chooses Escamillo and marries him. Insane with jealously, Don José then takes her life.