Man Who Sold His Skin, The (2020): Tunisia’s Oscar Nominated Film

Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania directed The Man Who Sold His Skin, a film inspired by Belgian contemporary artist Wim Delvoye’s living work “Tim” (2006).

It was selected as the Tunisian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, making the shortlist of fifteen films. In March 2021, it was nominated for the Best International Feature Film.

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

Raqqa fiancés Sam and Abeer are separated by the Syrian Civil War. While he seeks refuge in Lebanon, her family forces her to marry a richer man and move with him to Brussels.

Desperate for money and the needed paperwork to travel to Europe to rescue her, Sam agrees to have his back tattooed as a Schengen visa by one of the most controversial contemporary artists.

With his own body turned into a living work of art and promptly exhibited in a museum, Sam soon realizes 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