THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN
By Kaouther Ben Hanja
To be able to travel to Europe and find the love of his life, Sam Ali, a Syrian refugee, accepts to have his back tattooed by one of the most sulfurous contemporary artist; becoming that way a precious work of art.
Drama | Germany / France / Belgium / Tunisis | 100 mins
HD | color | Dolby SRD
Languages: Arabic, English, French
Nationalities: Tunisia, France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany
World premiere: 02.-12.09.2020 – La Biennale, Venice
Sam Ali, a sensitive impulsive and straightforward young Syrian man, fled to Lebanon to escape the Syrian war. Without legal status, he is unable to get a Schengen visa to go to Paris where his beloved Abeer lives. He spends his time being a freeloader in art galleries in Beirut. It’s in one of these galleries that he meets Jeffrey Godefroi, the most sulphurous and best-known American artist in today’s contemporary art market.
The two men conclude a strange deal that will forever change Sam Ali’s life.
The artist turns Sam Ali into his artwork by tattooing a Schengen visa on his back. Sam Ali then passes from the status of a vulgar “undocumented refugee” to a work of art internationally solicited, able to move freely. But for him, only his devouring love passion matters. It is the only thing guiding his choices.
Haunted by his love for Abeer, he agrees to sell his back to the devil in order to see her. He, who knows nothing about contemporary art and who doesn’t care, finds himself propelled into this foreign environment that is completely at odds with who he is.
His tattooed skin is worth an astronomical sum in the art market, collectors are interested, the biding goes up and human rights activists are outraged. From one museum to another, between art gallery owners, journalists, curators, collectors, lawyers, men of the Syrian regime and opponents, Sam Ali remains genuine, honest and in love. But in spite of himself, his dignity is flouted and his fate is put to a severe test.
How can one get out of this trap, regain Abeer’s esteem and become a man again when you are relegated to the status of a commodity? This is the dilemma of Sam Ali, the man who sold his skin.
|Actor / actress||role|
|Yahya MAHAYNI||Sam Ali|
|Koen De BOUW||Jeffrey Godefroi|
|Monica BELUCCI||Soraya Waldy|
|Darina AL JOUNDI||Sam’s Mutter|
|Najoua ZOUHAIR||Sam’s Schwester|
|Husam CHADAT||Adel Saadi|
|author & director||Kouther Ben Hania|
Thanassis Karathanos & Martin Hampel,
|productions||Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion
Laika Film & Television
|in co-production with||Metafora Media Production
Film i Väst
VOO et Be Tv
|in association with||Guillaume Rambourg
Lassaad & Rafik Kilani
ZDF / ARTE
|with the support by||Eurimages
|World sales||BAC Films|
|Set designer||Sophie Abdelkefi|
|Sound designer||Anders Billing Vive|
|Re-recording mixer||Leny Andrieux|
|Music composer||Amin Bouhafa|
|Line producer||Jacques Reboud
Khaled W. Barsaoui
|Music composer||Amin Bouhafa|
World premiere: 12.09.2020 | 77th Venice International Film Festival
Venice Film Festival | Orizzonti section – best actor (Yahya Mahayni) & Edipo Re Award
Arte Mare – Youth Prize of the Jury junger Pass Cultura & MGEN Audience Award
El Gouna FF – best arabic feature film
Stockholm IFF – best script
El Gouna Film Festival, Cairo/Egypt
CINÉMED – Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen de Montpellier (opening film), France
Arte Mare, Festival du film méditerranéen, Corsica/France
Festival International du Film Indépendant de Bordeaux, France
Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden
Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan