His own body turned into a living work of art and promptly exhibited in a museum, Sam, a Syrian refugee, will soon realize to have sold away more than just his skin.


Kaouther Ben Hania
4,061 ( 215)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Yahya Mahayni ... Sam Ali
Dea Liane ... Abeer
Koen De Bouw ... Jeffrey Godefroi
Monica Bellucci ... Soraya Waldy
Saad Lostan Saad Lostan ... Ziad
Darina Al Joundi ... Sam's Mother
Jan Dahdoh ... Hazem
Christian Vadim ... William, Sam's Attorney
Marc de Panda ... Marc Sheen
Najoua Zouhair Najoua Zouhair ... Sam's Sister
Husam Chadat ... Adel Saadi
Nadim Cheikhrouha Nadim Cheikhrouha ... Museum Guard
Rémi Sarmini Rémi Sarmini ... Syrian Policeman
Mouldi Kriden Mouldi Kriden ... Syrian Policeman
Rupert Wynne-James ... Martin (Curator)


Sam Ali, a Syrian young man, took refuge in Lebanon to flee the Syrian civil war. There, he meets Jeffrey Godefroi, a famous tattoo artist, who makes Mr Ali's back his canvas for a piece of work. Soon, Mr Ali becomes aliving work of art, worth an astronomical sum on the art market,l. Collectors are interested, auction goes up, human rights activists are outraged. Mr Ali must get out of the predicament he's in; the man who sold his skin. Written by Kwassa Films

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Did You Know?


Curiosities: in English the title of the film is "The Man who sold his skin", but in the Arabic version the title was translated as "The man who sold his back". See more »


When the camera is moving past the back of Ali, around the 67th minute, a pimple on his back is visible. In the next scene, when Jeffrey is confronting Soraya about it, the pimple is located much higher up his back. See more »


Sam Ali: Don't take it badly, ok? fuck you.
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Featured in The 93rd Oscars (2021) See more »


Written by Emel Mathlouthi (as Amel Mathlouthi)
Performed by Emel Mathlouthi (as EMEL)
Licensed courtesy of Partisan Records and Little Human Inc.
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User Reviews

The Freedom of Art
18 April 2021 | by li0904426See all my reviews

This film shows the link between art and human condition. As humans we are limited by the cultural and political borders of the country we were born in, but art is not. Any form of art can move freely among its borders.

Ironically this Tunisian film can be streamed in the USA or in any country without any Visa stamp but any of its citizen who need to escape from political or social persecution is denied refugee entry.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Tunisia | France | Belgium | Germany | Sweden | Turkey


Arabic | English | French | Flemish

Release Date:

2 April 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Sold His Skin See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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