The Man Who Sold His Skin


The Man Who Sold His Skin

Sam Ali, a young sensitive and impulsive Syrian, left his country for Lebanon to escape the war. To be able to travel to Europe and live with the love of his life, he accepts to have his back tattooed by one of by the World’s most sulfurous contemporary artist. Turning his own body into a prestigious piece of art, Sam will however come to realize that his decision might actually mean anything but freedom.

Original Title The Man Who Sold His Skin
German Title The Man Who Sold His Skin
French Title L'Homme qui a vendu sa peau
Other Titles The Man Who Sold His Skin
Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania
Country Tunisia
Available Formats DCP
Screenplay Kaouther Ben Hania
Film Editing Marie-Hélène Dozo
Soundtrack Amine Bouhafa
Cinematography Christopher Aoun
Sound Anders Billing, Vive Leny Andrieux
Décors Sophie Abdelke
Costumes Randa Khedher
Production Tanit Films (Nadim Cheikhrouha)
Runtime 104 Min.
Language Arabisch, Englisch, Französisch/d/f
Yahya Mahayni
Dea Liane
Monica Bellucci
Koen de Bouw
Darina Al Joundi
Christian Vadim

Venezia 2020, Orizzonti: Best Actor (Yahya Mahayni) & Edipo Re Award
El Gouna Film Festival – Best Arabic Film
Stockholm IFF – bestes Drehbuch
Academy Awards 2021, Tunesias nomination for best international film

«With The Man Who Sold His Skin, Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania crafts a biting art-world satire, turning a Syrian refugee’s quest to reunite with his lost love — and controversial decision to become a tattooed living canvas — into a slick, sublimely shot musing on freedom. Inspired by a real-life artwork, the writer-director’s follow-up to 2017’s Beauty And The Dogs segues from romance and dark comedy to drama and tragedy, determined to make a statement of its own.» Screen International

«Seine Geschichte gleicht einem Gruselfilm! Der Schweizer Tim Steiner hat sein Tattoo am Rücken verkauft – an den Hamburger Sammler Rik Reinking. Seitdem tourt er als einziges lebendes Kunstwerk der Welt durch die Museen.» Hamburger Morgenpost


«This project is born from the encounter between two worlds. The world of contemporary art, and more particularly the work of the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye (Tim, 2006) and the world of political refugees—especially Syrian refugees, their struggle with travel documents and residency permits... I have indeed asked myself: “What would happen if... a famous artist offered to a refugee to become his work of art to solve his freedom of movement problem?” Thus, was born the journey of Sam Ali: a passionate young refugee thrown into a cynical world. An ordinary man facing an extraordinary adventure. The film is also a love story where the protagonist is separated from the woman he loves, and he tries to recover even if he has to lose his dignity and his skin in the process. Or what does it mean to be free when the game is already rigged, when you don’t have much of a choice? The Man Who Sold His Skin is an allegory about one’s personal freedom in an inegalitarian system tackling broader meaning about our real-world issues.» Kaouther Ben Hania


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