Man Who Sold His Skin, The (2020): Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania’s Oscar-Nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature

The Man Who Sold His Skin (Arabic: The Man Who Sold His Back), directed by Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania, was inspired by Belgian contemporary artist Wim Delvoye’s living work Tim.

In March 2021, this Tunisian movie was nominated for the Best International Feature Oscar.

The movie premiered in the Horizons section at the 77th Venice Film Fest, where Yahya Mahayni won the Best Actor Award.

The tale centers on a couple, Raqqa fiancées Sam and Abeer, who are separated by the Syrian Civil War. While he seeks refuge in Lebanon, her family forces her to marry a richer man and move to Brussels.

In the desperate pursuit of money and the paperwork to travel to Europe to rescue her, Sam agrees for his back to be tattooed as a Schengen visa by a contemporary artist in the West.

His own body, turned into a living work of art, is exhibited in a museum.  As a result, Sam must realize that he has sold away more than just his skin.

Yahya Mahayni as Sam Ali
Dea Liane as Abeer
Koen De Bouw as Jeffrey Godefroi
Monica Bellucci as Soraya Waldy
Saad Lostan as Ziad
Darina Al Joundi as Sam’s Mother
Jan Dahdouh as Hazem
Christian Vadim as William
Wim Delvoye as insurance broker